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3 1833 01067 2084 


Colusa and Glenn Counties 



Biographical Sketches 


The Leading- Men and Women of the Counties Who have 

been Identified with their Growth and 

Developtnent from the Early 

Days to the Present 


Charles Davis McCo mish and Mrs. Rebecca T. Lambert 







By Charles Davis McComish 


Foreword 1 1 

Former histories of Colusa County: History by Will S. Green, pub- 
lished in 18S0. exhaustive in detail and copiously illustrated; history 
by Justus H. Rogers, published in 1891, a complete and valuable work 
for its period — Purpose and field of the present history. 


Early History of Califorxia 18 

Legends and stories of the coming of one Manuelo, a Spanish sailor, 
to San Francisco Bay— The voyage of Cabrillo, in 1542— Conditions in 
California before the coming of the white men — Sir Francis Drake 
reaches California in 1579, on his trip around the world — Visits of 
Spanish vessels from 1579 to 1602 — Father Junipero Serra establishes 
the first of the Spanish missions, at San Diego, in 1769 — Growth and 
prosperity of the missions, 1769 to 1833 — Restrictions upon the mis- 
sions under Spanish rule, 1769 to 1824 — Russian fur-trading post estab- 
lished at Fort Ross in 1812 — Arrival of American and English adven- 
turers — Jedediah S. Smith, the first white man to cross the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains, 1825 — Chapman marries the daughter of Captain 
Ortega, the discoverer of San Francisco Bay — Conditions in California 
under Mexican rule — Decline and secularization of the missions — The 
Indians dispossessed — Capt. John Sutter arrives, 1839 — John Bidwell 
and party, 1841 — First wave of the great flood of immigration — The 
Bear Flag army — California passes from Mexican to American dom- 
ination — Discovery of gold by James W. Marshall, 1848, and the coming 
of the forty-niners — Admission of California to statehood, 1850. 

Early Explorations and First Settlers 22 

Early Explorations: Colusa County as organized in 1851 — Transfer 
of territory to Tehama County in 1855 — County division, and formation 
of Glenn County, in 1891 — Present boundaries of the county — First 
visited by white men in 1843 — General Bidwell's narrative of the trip 
of these first authenticated explorers of the county — Location of the 
Larkin's Childrens' Grant by General Bidwell, 1844 — Canoe trip 
through Colusa County by Edward A. Farwell and Thomas Fallon — 
Visit of a party of trappers under Jack Myers — Manufacture of grind- 
stones on Grindstone Creek, in 1845, by Lassen, Moon, and Merritt — 
Exploration of the valley by Dr. Robert Semple, in 1847. The 
Settlers: John S. Williams, sent from Monterey by Thomas O. Larkin, 
in 1S47. to settle on the Larkin grant — Williams succeeded by Charles 
B. Sterling in 1S4S — William B. Ide settles on the east side of the river 
— Watt Anderson locates at the present site of Sycamore — These three 
settlements the only ones within the present boundaries of Colusa 
County when the first of the forty-niners came. 


Geography, and Flora and Fauna 28 

Geography: Topography of the Sacramento Valley roughly Illustrated 
— General slope of the land — The Trough — Natural drainage features — 
General description of the surface — The "plains" — Distances and loca- 


tion. Vegetation: Marked effect of seasonal changes on the appear- 
ance of the country in the early days— Luxuriance of the vegetation 
in the spring or early summer— Timber lands along the river— The 
"tule lands" — Vegetation of the foothill country— Timber lands along 
the western boundary— The profusion of wild flowers— The alkali lands 
and "goose lands." The Wild AxniALs of the County: Colusa County 
abundantlv stocked with wild animals when the white man came — 
These quickly exterminated by the early settlers— Tragic fate of the 
vast herds of antelope and elk— The passing of the grizzly— The black 
Ijear- The mountain lion— The short-tailed wildcat— The crafty coyote 
—Raccoons, foxes, and skunks — Will S. Green, on the destruction of 
the elk and the antelope— The kindlier fate of the deer— The rabbit: 
Cottontails and jack-rabbits— The rodents: Rats and mice, ground- 
squirrels and gophers— The wild goose; numbers and depredations— 
The wild duck: Canvasback, mallard, sprig, teal, widgeon; numbers 
and depredations— The quail— The dove— Other birds: The swan, 
crane, mud hen, turkey buzzard, blackbird, meadow lark, hawks, owls, 
linnets, sparrows, woodpeckers, robin, blue jay, magpie, and chaparral 
cock— Yellow jackets and mosquitoes in the early days. 


The Indians 37 

Attitude of the early settlers toward the Indians characterized by in- 
justice and cruelty— Bidwell's estimate of the number of Indians in 
the county— Green's estimate of the number of Colus Indians — Effect 
of the epidemic of 1832 or 1833— The Indian villages— Origin of the 
name Colus — The chief village of the Colus Indians — No Indian villages 
on the plains — The foothill Indians the nearest neighbors on the west 
to the river Indians — The chief tribe of the foothill Indians located 
along Cortina Creek — Numerous settlements along Bear Creek, Stony 
Creek, and other streams — Migration of the foothill Indians in the dry 
season of 1S44 — Forage treaties of the Indians — The mountain tribes — 
Appearance of the Colusa Indians — Their dress — Their love of orna- 
ments — Their customs in this respect somewhat different from those 
of the Indians of the East — Not essentially a warlike people — Develop- 
ment of their constructive faculty limited by climatic conditions — The 
villages intended for shelter during the wet season — Construction of 
their houses and sweat-houses — Manner of sleeping — Food of the In- 
dian — Pish the great food staple, particularly of the river Indians — 
Manner of catching and drying salmon — The acorn; manner of gath- 
ering and storing, and method of preparation — Failure of the acorn 
crop a serious matter — Other articles of diet — Gathering of the oat 
crop — Manner of cooking grasshoppers and grubs — Capture of a large 
game animal an occasion for intemperate feasting — Inveterate improvi- 
dence of the Indian — Each tribe governed by a chief — Power of the 
chief — Wise and just government of the Colus Indians under Chief 
Sioc — Personality and character of Sioc — Organization of the Indian 
community — Marital relations — Religious beliefs but feebly developed 
— Various superstitious customs — Sickness; its cause and cure — The 
sweat-cure and its results — Funeral rites and burial customs — Other 
structures and articles constructed by the Indians, and their uses — 
Method employed in killing a deer— Capture of game birds— Evidence 
of the Indians' friendly attitude towards the whites — Attitude of the 
whites towards the Indians— Death of Chief Sioc— Factors that accel- 
erated the rapid decline of the race — Uprisings and reprisals — Captain 
Hukely, successor of Sioc — The government takes a hand — Text of a 
treaty with the Colusa Indians, drawn up and signed in 1851, and 
transmitted to the United States Senate for ratification — The treaty 
pigeon-holed through political intrigue until 1905 — Patient watching 
and waiting of the fast-dwindling tribes for the fulfillment of their 
deferred hope — Government provision for the Indians in 1907 — Aid also 
extended by private subscription — Indian school founded through 
county appropriation— Present population and condition of the ranch- 
eria north of Colusa — The other Indians of the county. 



The Early Settlers 49 

But three settlements within the present boundaries of Colusa County 
when the first forty-niners came — John S. Williams — William B. Ide — 
Watt Anderson — Charles B. Sterling — Sterling's cache — The gold rush, 
and its effect on the settlement of the county — 1850: Admission of 
California to statehood, and authorization by the legislature for the 
organization of Colusa County — Robert Scrapie's trip up the Sacra- 
mento Valley, and his choice of a location for Col. Charles D. Semple 
at "Salmon Bend" — By mistake. Colonel Semple establishes his camp 
at Powell Slough — Trip of the Colusa — Colonel Semple relocates his 
town — Semple & Green's store building — Keeps and Hale's hotel — 
Sheppard — Semple & Green add hotel accommodations to their store 
building — The hotel department leased — The first white woman to 
live in Colusa — William Vincent and family — The first child born in 
Colusa — Population of Colusa in 1851 — Settlement of lands along the 
river by cattle men and farmers in 1850 and 1851 — Establishment of 
"hotels" — Competition between boatmen and teamsters, and between 
the two routes of passenger travel to the northern mines — Colusa be- 
comes a shipping center and center for stage lines — Line of settlements 
established along the river, by 1851. from the northern boundary of 
the county to Wilkins' Slough— Hiram Willits, and the Seventeen-Mile 
House — J. M. Arnett, and the Sixteen-Mile House — J. P. J. Helphenstine 
— Sterling's Ranch — Thomas Parton. and the Eleven-Mile House — 
Charles Brooks and Ben Payne — L. H. Helphenstine. and the Ten-Mile 
House — Henry Russell Helphenstine — S. H. Cooper, and the Nine-Mile 
House — Robert Payne and James Hill, and the Seven-Mile House — 
Obed DeLong, and the Five-Mile House — Mysterious disappearance of 
Robert N. Parkhill — Farmers and stockmen located in the immediate 
vicinity of Colusa abouf 1851: J. T. Marr. White Brothers, Abbe 
Brothers, James Keefer, John Rogers, and Marion Tate — O. C. Berkey, 
George Carhart, and Silas Howard — The Gibson brothers — Jack Long 
—John Fitch and Joe Parnsworth — The Grimes brothers — E. R. Gra- 
ham and Richard Welsh — Colusa County's first plow — The Graham 
family — J. C. Johnson, and the Ohio House — The east side of the 
river, the plains, and the foothills practically uninhabited in 1851 — 
Similar settlements along the river in what is now Glenn County, but 
none on the plains — U. P. Monroe — Rivalry of Colusa and Monroeville 
• — Settlement of the county rapid after 1851 — Active settlement of the 
east side of the river begins in 1852- Henry Ahlf— Nick Laux — J. W. 
Jones — W. F. Goad — Frank Steele — Col. L. F. Moulton — Joseph Mc- 
Connell. Clinton and Joseph McVay, Thomas Williams, and Jefferson 
Tate — The foothills settled next after the river district — Stock ranches 
located in Spring Valley in 1852 and 1853— John Sites and others settle 
in Antelope Valley — Mrs. Spear — Settlement of Bear Valley, as de- 
scribed by Godfrey C. Ingrim in 1877 — Settlement of the Stonyford 
section — Lands about Williams, Arbuckle, and College City settled 
earlier than those about Maxwell and Delevan — Southern part of the 
plains settled earlier than the northern— E. B. McDow and W. S. Green 
on settlement of the plains — Semple and Green's ranch on Freshwater 
Creek, 1853— Joseph S. Gibson, 1854— W. H. Williams— Andrew Pierce 
— Julius and Gustav Weyand— J. W. Brim — William Kaerth— Joseph P. 
Sherer- J. C. Stovall, 1858- Conditions within Colusa County at the 
beginning of the Civil War. 


Orgaxizatiox of the County 59 

Distribution of population. 1851 — Rivalry of Colusa and Monroeville — 
Origin of the name "Colusa" — Boundaries of the county defined by state 
legislature — Name of county "Colusi" until 1854 — Monroeville's peti- 
tion — Election of January 10, 1851 — County government established at 
Monroeville — Establishment of the seat of justice at Colusa — Monroe- 
ville again petitions — Election of July 11, 1851 — Colusa secures the 
county seat, 1853 — Contract let for new courthouse — Text of Judge Ide's 
report to the state treasurer, 1851 — William B. Ide's unique place in 


the early government of the county — The first county "jail" — Location 
of the old courthouse — The old court of sessions — Influence of U. P. 
Monroe in the early government of the county — Growth of the popula- 
tion — Bill introduced in state Senate, in 1852, providing for county 


Colusa County Politically 68 

Political conditions in the county at the time of its organization, and 
after the removal of the county seat to Colusa — The slavery question — 
The presidential election of 1864 — Colusa the "banner Democratic 
county of the state" — The waning of partisanship with the passage 
of non-partisan laws — Southern sympathizers' plan to celebrate Presi- 
dent Lincoln's assassination — The plan frustrated by John H. Liening 
in true Western style — Arrest and imprisonment of the leaders — In- 
dictment of Captain Starr, Mr. Liening, and others — The cases dis- 
missed— "Camp Pap Rice" and John Miller Post— Colusa County, as 
at first laid out — The two centers of population— Territory transferred 
to Tehama County in 1855— Attempt to transfer territory from Colusa 
County to Lake County, 1864— Attempt to transfer territory to Butte 
County, 1866 — Railroad completed to Willows, 1878— Willows begins 
agitation for county division — Public meeting in Orland, 1882 — Bill 
introduced in 1887, providing for county division — County division in 
the campaign of 1888 — Bill for county division passes both houses in 
1889, but is vetoed by the Governor — The election of 1890 — Arrests for 
ballot-box stuffing — The cases dismissed — The election of May 5, 1891 
— County division wins — Glenn County named after Dr. H. J. Glenn — 
The town of Princeton and Senator John Boggs' ranch transferred from 
Glenn County to Colusa County in 1893 — Status of the liquor question 
in the county — Effect of the Progressive movement on the Republican 
party in the county — The Grange movement — People's Independent 
party, 1873 — The Constitution party, 1879— Dr. H. J. Glenn Democratic 
nominee for Governor. 1S79— Rise and growth of anti-Chinese senti- 
ment, 1880-1890- Delegates appointed to the anti-Chinese convention 
in Sacramento, 1888 — Passage liy Congress of Chinese exclusion bill — 
Present relations of the two races — Some exceptions to Democratic 
success at the polls — The liquor question as a political issue — The 
county at first on a "wide-open" basis — The saloon long a power in 
politics — The Good Templars organize opposition to the saloons — J. D. 
McNary, Peter Earp, and Stewart Harris — First Good Templars lodge in 
Colusa, 1868; Col. J. F. Wilkins and O. S. Mason among its officers — 
Results of election called by temperance people, 1874 — Organization of 
the Union Temperance Sunday School under J. D, McNary, Judge E. A. 
Bridgeford. and Charles B. Whiting. 1892 — County license ordinance 
providing for precinct option introduced before the board of super- 
visors. December 10, 1908 — Result of the vote by precincts, November 
8, 1910— Passage of the Wylie local option law. 1911 — All the districts 
outside the incorporated town of Colusa go dry, November 5, 1912 — 
Results of recent votes. 


Transportation _ 75 

Importance of transportation facilities — Colusa County long content to 
be a "cow county" — Improvements in transportation during the last 
decade — Improvements to come. Steajikk Transportation: Condi- 
tions favorable to making Colusa a steamboat terminal and distributing 
point — Obstacles that bad to be overcome — Five boats go to Colusa or 
higher in 1850— The Martha Jane, 1851— The Benicia, 1851- The Orient 
establishes regular steamboat service to Colusa — Growth of steamboat- 
ing on the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Feather Rivers — Combination 
of boat owners— Effect of the railroads on the steamboat traffic- The 
steamboat company sells out to the railroad company, 1876— Organiza- 
of the Sacramento Wood Company, 1860 — This becomes the Sacra- 
mento Transportation Company and absorbs the railroad company's 
steamboat business north of Sacramento — Organization of the Farmers' 


Transportation Company, 1901 — The Valletta — Service of the Sacra- 
mento Transportation Company and the Farmers' Transportation 
Company between Colusa and San Francisco and Sacramento — Agree- 
ment between the two companies, 1917 — Effect of the railroads on the 
passenger traffic of the boats — The California-Pacific Railroad's line of 
boats, 1873-1876— Freight rates in the days of the Orient— Present 
freight rates by boat. Railroads: The -"Colusa, Marysville and Ne- 
vada Railroad" projected, but never built — The Northern Railway en- 
ters the county. May 15. 1876- Celebrations at Arbuckle and Williams 
— The road continued to Willows in 1878— Colusa loses the main line 
— Colusa authorized to issue bonds for a connecting line, 1876 — Circu- 
lation of subscription papers — Officers elected, and articles of incorpora- 
tion of the Colusa Railroad Company filed — Determination of the loca- 
tion — First passenger train between Colusa and Colusa Junction, April 
30, 1886 — Company name changed to Colusa & Lake Railroad Company 
— Road extended to Sites, September 29, 1886— First locomotive arrives 
by barge in Colusa, November 30, 1885— George Ogden the first en- 
gineer — E. A. Harrington the first superintendent, succeeded by M. E. 
Burrows — The road operated for over twenty-nine years — The fare 
between Colusa and the Junction — Development of interurban electric 
roads — Agents of the Northern Electric secure land in Colusa for ter- 
minal purposes, 1906 — Progress of the road — OflBcials of the road 
secure franchise on Market Street — The "Shasta Southern," and its 
activities in Colusa and Princeton — Activities of Southern Pacific rep- 
resentatives — The Northern Electric surveyors begin running lines in 
town for their road, December 31. 1906 — The Shasta Southern's opera- 
tions discontinued — The Northern Electric applies to the trustees of 
Colusa for an exclusive franchise along the river front — Verses by Mrs, 
R. M. Liening — Water-front franchise granted, but not exclusive — 
Terms of the first franchise — Delays — Offer made by the railroad 
people in 1911 — Bonds placed with the people of the county — Articles 
of incorporation filed, Nov. 14. 1911 — Contract signed for erection of 
the Meridian bridge — Contracts placed for grading the road — Progress 
of the work — First car to cross the bridge, and first train to arrive in 
Colusa — First outbound and first inbound freight — The carnival, June 
13 and 14, 1913 — First passenger train into Colusa — Regular passenger 
service established, June 16, 1913— The flood of February 3, 1915 — 
Traffic resumed, October 15. 1915 — Other roads projected — Cooperation 
of the Sacramento Valley Sugar Company with the Colusa & Hamilton, 
projected by the Southern Pacific — The proposed route announced — 
Progress of construction — Delay in ballasting — The road's first passen- 
ger train into Colusa — Freight service to Princeton established, Sep- 
tember 1, 1914 — Damage by the flood of February, 1915 — Freight 
service resumed and improved — Freight rates — The West Side Electric 
— The meeting at Willows, March 27, 1911 — Work of the committee, 
and progress of construction — Work suspended on account of financial 
difficulties — Proposed route — Railroad between Colusa and Chico advo- 
cated by W. S. Green — Surveys for the road made by Green and Moul- 
ton in 1875 — Fruitless efforts made to interest the electric power 
line in 1900. Highways: The first "highway" — Roads laid out along 
section lines — Character of the early roads — Bond issue of 1868, for 
roads and bridges — Character of the gravel roads^Experiments with 
oiled roads and macadamized road — The state issues $18,000,000 worth 
of bonds for concrete highways — County bond issue defeated — Efforts 
to bring the state highway up the river and through Princeton — State 
aid dependent on the raising of One per cent, interest — Mass meetings 
at Williams and Colusa — $452,000 bond issue carried, March 17, 1914 — 
Purposes of the bond Issue— Construction begins— The lateral from 
Williams to Colusa completed. 1916 — Main line completed through the 
county from north to south — Plans for extension of the system — • 
Wooden bridges replaced by concrete structures, 1914-1916. Stage 
Lines: Early mail and passenger service by stage — Baxter & Company 
and a Mr. Johnson operate rival lines between Colusa and Shasta — 
Most of the travel diverted from the Marysville to the Colusa route — 
Tri-weekly service between Colusa and Princeton, 1869 — Opposition 
stage line between Colusa and Marysville — Reduction of fares — Organ- 
ization of the Bartlett Springs & Bear Valley Toll Road Company, 


and opening of the stage line between Colusa and Bartlett and Allen 
Springs, 1873 — Increase of passenger traffic over the route— Stage lines 
established between Colusa and Chico and Colusa and Wilbur Springs, 
1S74 — Nine stage lines out of Colusa in 1874 — Line opened between 
Leesville and Fonts Springs, 1876— Tri-weekly service between Colusa 
and Willows, via Princeton, 1877— Effect of the coming of the railroads 
on the stage lines — Horse stages displaced by auto stages — Lines still 
in service. The ArToiioBiLE ix Coli'sa County: The first velocipede — 
The first steam "traction wagon" — Dr. W. T. Rathbun's steam Loco- 
mobile proves to be the chief feature of the county fair at Colusa in 
1S9S — M. C. Dillman brings in the first gasoline car — Other early cars 
— Trip of Will S. Green's Locomobile from Sacramento to Colusa, 1900 
— Rapid increase in the number of automobiles in the county — The 
Ford in Colusa County — Introduction of the auto hearse — Auto trucks 
and tractors fast supplanting horse power. The Aeiioplane: Various 
flights planned — Flight at the Odd Fellows' picnic at Grimes, 1917. 


Irrigation and Reclamation 

Reclamatiox: District 67: Formed in 1867— Construction of the 
levee across the south end of Mormon Basin — District reorganized as 
District 479— Present trustees. District 108: Formed in 1870— Terri- 
tory embraced— The district divided, and District 729 formed, 1902 — 
The district as reorganized in 1911— First trustees— The river levee- 
Reorganization and construction work under Jesse Poundstone and 
Charles de St. Maurice — The back levee— The pumping plants— Cost 
of the improvements — Present trustees. District 124: Formed in 1871 
— Territory embraced— First trustees— The levee— Later trustees — 
Lapse of the district. Other Projects: Reclamation work on Col. L. 
F. Moulton's ranch— J. W. Parks' dam— Crocker Estate Company's 
levee — Sacramento and San Joaquin Drainage District; scope of the 
plans, and authorized cost of the project— Sacramento Valley West Side 
Levee District; scope of the project, and plan of assessment — The Iron 
Canyon Project. -Iekigatiox: Will S. Green's advocacy of irrigation— 
His connection with the Central Irrigation District — Lines run and 
route established for a canal through Colusa and Yolo Counties, to 
utilize the waters of the Sacramento River — Failure of the plan — Cor- 
poration formed and money raised to utilize the waters of Stony 
Creek— The project defeated by the owners of riparian rights— Green's 
advocacy of the district plan as against the plan of appropriators — 
Passage of the Wright Act, and organization of Central District— Text 
of Frank Adams' historical account of the district — The meetings of 
March 26 and April 22, at Maxwell, and the committees appointed — 
Mistakes made — The Central Canal and Irrigation Company extends 
the river branch to Princeton — Decision of the Supreme Court in 1915, 
and formation of a new district at Princeton— Construction of Central 
Canal, and installation of pumping plant — Financial straits of the Sac- 
ramento Valley Irrigation Company, and sale of its lands — Failure of 
attempts to form irrigation districts at Arbuckle and College City — 
Formation and operations of the Amos Roberts Ditch Company — 
Directors of the company — System of the Colusa Irrigation Company 
— Directors of the company— Irrigation systems on Stony Creek, near 
Stonyford— Colonel Moulton's pumping plant, and the work of the 
barge Merritt — Private pumps installed along the river — Operations of 
the Moulton Irrigated Lands Company and their successors, the Colusa 
Delta Lands Company, in the irrigation of rice lands — Operations of 
Mallon & Blevins — The Cheney Slough Irrigation Company's opera- 
tions—Directors of the company — Establishment of numerous small 
rice-growing projects — Meeting held at Maxwell, October 15, 1881, in 
the interest of tests for artesian water — Irrigation from artesian wells 
on the Melone ranch. 



GRAIN-RA1.S1NG IN CoLusA CouNTY : Wheat and barley long the chief 
agricultural products of the county — Colusa County once the greatest 


wheat-raising and barley-raising county in the world. Wheat: Two 
per cent, of nation's crop in ISSO produced in what was then Colusa 
County — Dr. H. J. Glenn's wheat ranch the greatest in the world — 
Production on the Glenn ranch in 1876 — Present extensive operations 
in grain-raising — The beginning of grain-raising in the county — Effect 
of the dry years on the industry — Growth of the industry after the 
rains of 1864 — Wheat becomes the leading crop — Increase of production 
from 1864 to 1884—10,000.000 bushels of wheat in 1889. Barley: De- 
cline of wheat-raising and growth of barley-raising — Barley the more 
profitable crop in Colusa County — Effect of seasons on yield of plains 
lands and tule lands — Varying yield — Crops and prices in 1917 — Inroads 
of other crops on the barley acreage. Rice: Rise and growth of the 
rice industry — Early experiments by Colonel Moulton — Government 
experiments at Chico — Operations of W. K. Brown on the lands of the 
Moulton ranch — Production of rice on the Moulton ranch in 1914 — 
Operations of Mallon & Blevins — Rice acreage of the county in 1915 — 
Increase in land values — Introduction of the early-maturing Italian 
rice — Production of rice in 1915 by the Moulton Irrigated Lands Com- 
pany and the California Rice Company — Operations of Mallon & 
Blevins from 1915 to date — The Cheney Slough Irrigation Company — 
Directors of the company — Growth of the industry at Maxwell — Rice 
acreage in the county in 1917 — Demand for rice lands. Alf-\i,fa: In- 
troduction and growth of alfalfa culture — Production on irrigated 
lands, and on unirrigated lands — Crop returns — Importance of the 
alfalfa crop. Corn: Four kinds grown — Sorghum first grown in the 
fifties — Indian corn grown to some extent along the river — Egyptian 
corn grown on the overflow lands; a summer crop — Broom corn grown 
on the overflow lands; present prices and profits; operations of George 
F. McKenzie in 1914, and subsequent growth of the broom corn industry. 
Bean.s: At first grown for home consumption — The bean lands — 
Yield per acre — Center of the bean industry of the county — Increased 
demand for bean lands — Varieties grown, and prices. Beets: Efforts 
to introduce the sugar beet — John Boggs — Sugar factory offered by the 
Spreckels Sugar Company in 1896— Project for a factory in 1905— 
Project formed in 1911 for the building of the Colusa and Hamilton 
Railroad — The required acreage subscribed — The road not finished — 
Crops grown by the sugar company — Present prospects for the growth 
of the industry. Other Crop.s: Potatoes grown in limited quantities — 
Cotton: W. S. Green's attempt to introduce cotton-growing; experi- 
ments by Andrew Rutland and J. W. Bowden — Sweet potatoes and pea- 
nuts grown on the sandy lands along the river — Grandelia robusta. or 
rosin weed, gathered from the lowlands along the Trough; prices and 



Scope of horticulture in Colusa County. Fruit-growing for Domestic 
Purposes: The wide variety of fruits grown — Conditions that have 
prevented the general introduction of fruit-growing. Gr.\pes: Pioneer 
work of I. N. Cain in the raisin industry at College City— William 
Calmes' vineyard — Growth in vineyard acreage during the eighties — 
Colonel Moulton's vineyard— The Brim vineyard— Growth of the raisin 
industry during the last decade — Wine grapes — Table grapes — Crops 
and crop returns — Outlook for development. Prunes: Early prune 
orchardists: J. B. Dejarnatt, A. S. McWilliams, Colonel Moulton, P. 
V. Berkey. Henry Ahlf. D. H. Arnold, Richard Bayne, Dr. Gray, John 
Boggs, Poirier — Organization of the Colusa County Horticultural So- 
ciety, and appointment of a board of horticultural commissioners — 
Operations of P. V. Berkey, J. W. Bowden, J. C. Bedell, and Joseph 
Boedefeld in 1894 — The Boedefeld orchard — Production and returns — 
Growth of the industry during the past four years. Almoxds: Ar- 
huckle as an almond center — C. H. Locke's almond orchard — Growth of 
the almond industry from 1892 to 1907 — Subdivision of the Reddington 
ranch in 1907, and beginning of the almond boom — Organization of the 
Superior California Fruit Lands Company and the Arbuckle Almond 
Growers' Association — Growth of the industry in the Arbuckle district 
— A. M. Newland the pioneer almond-grower of the county — The New- 


land orchard— The Eureka almond— A. Fendt's orchard. Oranges: 
John T. Harrington's orchard; production and quality — Alva A. King's 
orchard. Lejio.xs: Operations of James Mills, near Maxwell — The 
Mills orchard. Peaches and Apricots: W. L. Cotter's orchard, near 
Arbuckle — Acreage planted in the Arbuckle district — A. S. McWilliams 
the pioneer apricot orchardist ahout Colusa — Growth and decline ot the 
industry. Pears: The pear boom along the river in the eighties — 
Yields and returns — The epidemic of pear blight — The Boedefeld 
orchard — The Ahlf orchard; yield and returns — Orchards of W. G. 
Henneke and P. B. Pryor. Walnuts: Operations of J. C. Westfall — 
The Hugh L. Dobbins walnut nursery in Colusa — The walnut orchard 
at Arbuckle. Figs, PLr:MS, and Apples; The flg orchards of Richard 
Bayne and W. C. Roberts — The Ahlf brothers' plum orchard— Apple 
orchards in the western part of the countv. 


Mixing axd Quarrying 122 

Mixing: Colusa County not a mining county — Minerals produced — 
Early activities (as outlined in the Rogers history) in the discovery 
and mining of copper, coal, gold and silver, quicksilver, sulphur, petro- 
leum, chrome ore, and limestone — The oil excitement on Bear Creek 
in 1900 and 1901— Operations of the Williams Oil Company— Discovery 
of mineral paint deposit on Little Stony Creek in 1909, and organiza- 
tion of the Ruby King Mining, Townsite & Improvement Company — 
The cinnabar mines of Sulphur Creek— The Manzanlta and Cherry 
Mines. Quarrying: Building stone quarry opened at Sites in 1892, and 
operated by the Colusa Sandstone Company — A second quarry opened 
by John D. McGilvray — Shipments to San Francisco — Buildings erected 
of Colusa sandstone— Quality of the stone — Production in 1905 — Sus- 
pension of operations. 



Local Economic Conditions Unfavorable to Manufacturing: Various 
attempts made to establish manufactures — Farming much more profit- 
able than manufacturing in Colusa County — Relative returns as illus- 
trated by the rice business. Sawmills and Flouring Mills: Morri- 
son's mill at Sycamore, 1852; manufacture of lumber and flour — Dun- 
lap & Turner's mill at Colusa, 1853— Quality of the flour— Later his- 
tory of the mill — The flour mill at Princeton — John L. Smith's mill 
at Smithville — The Stony Creek Improvement Company — The Williams 
Flouring Mill— The Sunset Flouring Mills— The Colusa Milling Com- 
pany — The Colusa Milling & Grain Company — The Williams Milling 
Company. Manufacture of Salt: The salt lake north of Sites — 
Salt Lake Ranch — Early operations — Operations of J. P. Rathbun — The 
Antelope Crystal Salt Company. Projects for a Sugar Factory: 
Early attempts to establish a factory — $100,000 subscribed toward a 
factory in 1905 — Loss of the factory to Hamilton City. Canning and 
Packing: The Colusa Canning, Drying and Packing Company — Opera- 
tions of the company — The Colusa Dried Fruit Company. Creameries: 
Activities of the Pacific Creamery Company and the Colusa Cream 
Association, and incorporation of the Colusa Creamery Company — 
Erection and operation of the factory — The Colusa Butter Company — 
Sale of the creamery to the Western Creameries Company — Purchase 
and operation of the plant by M. A. Sickels — The Stonyford Cream- 
ery — Erection and operation of the factory. Stea^i L.«'ndries: J. R. 
Phillips' steam laundry in Colusa — Organization of the Colusa Steam 
Laundry Association — Purchase and operation of the plant by W. H. 
Graham — Madam Hordes' French steam laundry. Ice Plants: Manu- 
facture of ice by J. B. Cooke— The Colusa Meat & Cold Storage Com- 
pany — Erection and operation of the plant — Lease of the plant to 
the Union Ice Company. Iron and Steel Manufactures: The Wil- 
liams Foundry and Machine Shop — The Colusa Agricultural Works — 
Operation under Gessner & Skinner, J. Grover, and Wulff & Lage 
— Operation as the Colusa Foundry and Machine Shop under Frank 


Wulff — Later changes in proprietorship. The Brewery: The old 
building — Erection of the brick building — Operation under proprietor- 
ship of G. Kammerer — Sold at sheriff's sale. Light, Power, & 
Water Companies: The Colusa Gas Company — Purchase and opera- 
tion of the plant by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company— The Wil- 
liams Water & Electric Company. MANrFACTURE of Broojis: Attempts 
of William Prater and J. W. Van Winkle to establish a broom factory 
in Colusa — Van Winkle's factory moved to Sacramento. Maxufac- 
ture of Poultry Supplies: The Rogers Manufacturing Company, 
at Williams — Removal to Sacramento. Other Project.s: Agitation 
for a rice mill; issuance and revocation of permit to sell stock — The 
Felts Electric Light & Power Company— The Western Acetylene Gas 
Company — The Snow Mountain Electric Power Company. 


Newspapers 136 

Colusa: The Colusa Sun: Founded January 1, 1S62 — Publication 
under Charles R. Street, T. J. Andus, and Will S. Green and the 
Addingtons — Publication and changes under the Colusa Sun Pub- 
lishing Company — Influence of the Sun in the affairs of Colusa County. 
The Colusa Independent: Founded in 1873— Published from 1873 to 
1877. The Colusa Herald: Founded in July, 1886, by Jacobs & King — 
Later owners — Transferred to a stock company in 1900 — Changes 
under John L. Allison — Purchase and publication by C. D. McComish — 
Purchase and publication by Tompkins & Harriss. The Colusa Daily 
Gazette: Founded in 1889— Publication under E. I. Fuller, from 
1889 to 1904. WiLLiAii.s: The Central News, of Williams: Founded 
in 1882 — Edited by G. B. Henderson. The Williams Farmer: Founded 
in 1887— Publication and changes under S. H. Callen— Published 
under various lessees since 1911. The Williams Enterprise: Founded, 
and published for a few months, in 1911. by R. R. Kingsley. Arbuckle: 
The Arbuckle Autocrat: Founded by J. S. Taylor in 1890— Name 
changed to New Era — Leased in 1899 to J. H. Hudson, founder of the 
Arbuckle Independent— Acquired by W. W. Felts in 1902, and name 
changed to Arbuckle Planter— Purchased by J. P. Hall in 1909, and 
name changed to Arbuckle American — Publication and influence under 
Mr. Hall. Maxwell: The Maxwell Star: Purchased by W. W. 
Felts and James H. Hodgen in 1884 — Publication suspended. The 
Maxwell Mercury: Founded in ISSS — ^Publication under John G. and 
Charles C. Overshlner. The Maxwell Tribune: Founded in 1912, 
by Harden & Hardwicke — Publication under George B. Harden — Now 
leased to L. H. Bowen, and printed at the Williams Farmer office. 
Grimes: The Grimes Record: Founded in 1911— Published by J. P. 
Hall and printed at the Arbuckle American office. The Grimes Inde- 
pendent: Founded in 1917 — Published and printed by L. H. Bowen at 
the Williams Farmer office. Prixcetox: The Princeton New Era: 
Founded in 1905 by Joel H. Ford— Printed at the Colusa Sun office. 
The Princeton Journal: A few numbers issued from the Colusa Herald 
office by Seth Bailey, in 1914. County Editorial Association: Meeting 
of the county editors at Maxwell, September 28, 1SS9, and organization 
of an association — Renewed attempt to establish an association in 1914. 


Schools, Churches, and Lodges 139 

Schools: General excellence of school system — Effect of large land- 
holdings on rural schools — First school established in 1855 in Colusa — 
First schoolhouse built in 1861 — Subsequent buildings and projected 
improvements — Growth of the school system from 1861 to the present 
time — Five high schools at present — Colusa High School — Pierce Joint 
Union High School— Williams High School— Princeton Joint Union 
High School— Maxwell High School— St. Aloysius Convent School — 
Mrs. Clark's Select School for Young Ladies— Mrs. Lowery's kinder- 
garten — Pierce Christian College — Its founder, Andrew Pierce — Its 
place in the educational history of the county — Father Wallrath, and 


the founding of the convent school in Colusa. Churches: Churches 
of the county not in a thriving condition. The Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South: History of the Colusa congregation, prepared by J. W. 
Goad for the semi-centennial of Trinity Church — Preachers in charge 
since 1910 — The churches at Arbuckle, Williams, Maxwell. Sites, 
Princeton, Stonyford, and Leesville. The Christian Church: The 
church in Colusa — Buildings erected — List of ministers — The churches 
at Williams, College City, Sycamore, Maxwell, and Grand Island. 
The Catholic Church: First church built in the county begun at 
Colusa under Father Crinnian, and completed by Father Wallrath— 
Influence of Father Wallrath — The churches at Maxwell, Stonyford, 
Williams, and Arbuckle— Funeral of Father Wallrath. The Baptist 
Church: The churches at Grimes, Arbuckle, and Maxwell. The Pres- 
byterian Church: Organization of the congregation, and erection of 
the church, at Colusa, the only one in the county — First wedding 
and first funeral in the church — List of pastors — Improvements now 
being made — List of organists. The Episcopal Church: Organization 
of the church in Colusa, the only one in the county — Buildings erected. 
The African M. E. Zion Church: Incorporated in 1S94 — At present 
without pastor or regular services. Lodges: Of the many orders 
organized in the county, only a few now represented by active lodges — 
The various orders organized, and those now active. The Masons: 
Colusa Lodge, No. 142, F. & A. M. — Equality Lodge consolidated with 
Colusa Lodge, No. 142, to form Colusa Lodge, No. 240 — Meridian Lodge, 
No. 182, at Arbuckle — Tuscan Lodge, No. 261, at Williams — Snow Moun- 
tain Lodge, No. 271, at Stonyford — Maxwell Lodge. No. 2SS — Knights 
Templar Commandery and Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, at Colusa — 
Veritas Chapter, O. E. S., at Colusa— Eowana Chapter, O. E. S.. at 
Stonyford— Loyal Chapter. 0. E. S.. at Williams— Wild Rose Chapter, 
O. E. S.. at Princeton. The Odd Fellows: Colusa Lodge. No. 133— 
Princeton Lodge consolidated with Colusa Lodge — Central Lodge, at 
Williams — Grand Island Lodge, No. 266, at Grimes — Spring Valley 
Lodge, at Arbuckle — Maxwell Lodge — Colusa Encampment — Deborah 
Rebekah Lodge, at Colusa — Valley Rose Rebekah Lodge, at Grimes — 
Rebekah lodges at Arbuckle, Williams, and Maxwell. Native Sons 
and Native Daughters: Colusa Parlor, No. 69 — Williams Parlor, No. 
164— Colusa Parlor, N. D. G. W. Knights of Pythias: Oriental Lodge, 
No. 10, and successor, at Colusa. Loyal Order of Moose: Colusa Lodge, 
No. 834. Fraternal Order of Eagles: Colusa Aerie, No. 675. Inde- 
pendent Order of Foresters: Court Sioc, at Colusa. Ancient Order 
of United Workmen: Lapsed lodges at Colusa, Grand Island, Prince- 
ton, and Maxwell — Degree of Honor, at Colusa. Grand Army of the 
Republic: General John A. Miller Post, at Colusa — Women's Relief 
Corps. Confederate Veterans: Camp Pap Price, at Colusa — Winnie 
Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, at Colusa. Other 
orders: Ancient Order of Druids, at Colusa — Knights of Honor, at 
Colusa — Fraternal Brotherhood, at Colusa and Meridian — Good Tem- 
plars, at Colusa, Sycamore, Grand Island, Arbuckle, Princeton, College 
City, Williams, Maxwell, and Lodoga — Sons of Temperance, at Colusa 
and Williams — The Williams Temperance Advocate — Antlers Club 
of the Elks— The I. D. E. S.— Colusa Lodge, No. 6, E. Clampus Vitus. 


The We.vther 156 

Is the cimate changing? — The two seasons — The summer of 1844 — 
General review of the seasons from 1849 to 1917 — Various periods of 
high water— The floods of February, 1915— The hot spell of 1879 — 
Two respects in which the climate has changed — Modifying effect of 
increasing vegetation — The cold spell of January, 1888 — General 
characteristics of the normal climate of the county — Some variations 
from type: Late rains, accompanied by thunder and lightning; va- 
rious hail-storms; snow-storms; earthquakes — Weather in the moun- 


Miscellaneous Facts : 161 

Picnics, celebrations, and public gatherings — Public works and pub- 
lic buildings — Public utilities — Postal dates and postal data — Com- 
panies and corporations — Various organizations — Resorts — Personals 
— Facts and figures. 


Colusa County Today 168 

General Featuhes: A land of broad expanses, sparsely populated 
— Distribution of industries — One incorporated city — Unincorporated 
towns and villages. General Statlstks: Area — Farms — Agricul- 
tural lands and grazing lands — Roads — Irrigation — Valuation — As- 
sessed live stock. County Offkial.s: Present officers — List of jus- 
tices of the peace. Cousa: Location and population — Established 
in 1850 — Incorporated in 1876 — Growth and public improvements — 
List of business places. Willia:ms: Population — Laid out in 1876 
— Public improvements — List of business places. Arbuckle: Laid 
out in 187.5 — Population — Public improvements — List of business 
places — Prospect of growth through almond and raisin industries. 
Maxwell: Laid out in 1S7S. and called Occident — Change of name 
— Population — Public improvements — List of business places. Prince- 
ton: A road house in 18.51 — Population — Public improvements — List 
of business places. GRniEs: A road house in 1851 — Origin of name 
— Population — Public improvements — List of business places — Center 
of sugar-beet industry — Subscriptions to Y. M. C. A. war fund. 
College City: The founding of Pierce Christian College — A com- 
munity of high ideals — Present population — Public improvements and 
places of business. Stonyford: Only important mountain town in 
county — Originally called Smithville — Change of name — Present pop- 
ulation — Public improvements and places of business. In Con- 
cllision: Limitations and purpose of the work. 


By Airs. Rebecca T. Lambert 


Introduction 1^7 

Topographic and Gexerai, Industrial Features: Location and boun- 
daries of Glenn County — Stony Creek and Stony Creek Valley — Willow, 
Walker, and Hambrig'ht Creeks— The "Trough"— Area of the county- 
Character of the surface, and distribution of industries — Economic his- 
tory of the county concerned chiefly with the industries of the plains. 


The Pathfinders l'?8 

Hunters and trappers the first pathfinders— Jedediah S. Smith the first 
man to make the trip overland to California from the United States — 
His trips from Great Salt Lake to and through California, 1826-182S— 
Party sent out by Hudson Bay Company, under McLeod, who makes a 
successful hunting trip down the Sacramento Valley — Ogden follows 
McLeod's trail — Trip of Ewing Young and 'J. J. Warner — Sutter's 
activities and influence — Extract from John Bidwell's journal— Far- 
reaching influence of Thomas O. Larkin— Bidwell's exploration. 


The Indians 183 

Their number and origin — Characteristics of the Digger Indians — Their 
mode of living — Manners and Customs — Tradition of a flood — Their 
morals — Attitude toward the whites — Removal to the Noma Lacka 
Reservation — Later depredations — The legend of "Bloody Rock"— At- 
tack at the rancheria on the Millsaps place — Results of their contact 
with civilization. 


The Missions. California Wins Her Independence 189 

The Missions: The Spanish fail to realize the possibilities of the 
Sacramento Valley— Russian settlement at Fort Ross, followed by the 
founding of Spanish missions at San Rafael and Sonoma. California 
Wins Her Independence: Gen. John A. Sutter's grant— Sutter's hos- 
pitality—Growing power of the American settlers— Fremont's survey- 
ing trip up the Sacramento Valley — The capture of Arce's horses — Cap- 
ture of General Vallejo — The Bear Flag Revolt— The Battle of Olampali 
— Granville P. Swift, and others of the Bear Flag Party. 


Organization of State and County 194 

California under military rule — State constitutional convention at Mon- 
terey, September 3. 1849— Constitution ratified and proclaimed— First 
legislature meets at San Jose, December 15, 1849 — California admitted 
to statehood, September 9, 1850 — Boundaries of Colusa County defined 
— Location of the county seat at Monroeville— Early elections — Tran- 
sient nature of the population — Extract from a letter of William B. 
Ide— Anecdote of Ide— Transportation in the early days— Early grain- 
growers- Valuation and population in 1S52— First legal execution, and 
first county jail — Removal of the county seat to Colusa. 


Origin of Place Names. The Coming of the Stockmen 200 

Origix of Place Names: Pioneers whose descendants still live In the 
county: A. S. C. Cleek, Martin Reager. Robert Hambrlght, Elijah Mc- 
Danlel, and Mayberry Davis — Manufacture of grindstones on Stony 
and Grindstone Creeks, 1S45 — Pioneers whose names are perpetuated 
in the place names of the county: R. B. Ord, R. J. Walsh, A. C. St. 
John, Granville P. Swift, L. H. Mcintosh, Robert Hambrlght, Watt 
Briscoe, James Clark, Jeff Walker. The CoiriNG of the Stockmen: 
The forty-niners turn from mining to stock-raising — Residents and land- 
owners along the Sacramento River before 1858: Mayberry Davis, 
Elijah M.cDaniel, Joseph McVay, Bounds and Picknell, H. C. Nelson, 
Frank Steele. Levi Jefferson McDanlel, J. J. Winkler, John Price, 
Isaac Sparks, Watkins, George C. Pratt, R. B. Ord. U. P. Monroe. 
Richard Walsh, L. H. Mcintosh. Joseph and Michael Billlou, Martin 

A. Reager and S. C. Cleek, James Ewlng Mitchell, and Jubal Weston 
— Claims laid out along the courses of the streams — Improvement of 
the stock — Prominent sheep-raisers of the early days: James Ewing 
Mitchell, Jeff Walker, U. S. Nye, A. S. McWlUlams, James Talbot. Pat- 
rick O'Brien, W. W. Marshall, Laban Scearce, William Murdock and 
Milton French. Settlement of the Foothills: First settlements made 
during 1855 — Early settlers: A. D. Logan. "Zink" Garnett, James and 
Thomas Talbot, Oscar Stiles, James and S. D. Young, J. R. Tiffee, 
Robert Eggleston, Abe Muslck, Jerry Schooling, Charley Brooks, U. S. 
Nye, Patrick O'Brien, Milton French, J. C. and S. P. Wilson, W. W. 
Marshall, Jeff Walker, H. B. Julian, I. W. Brownell, Laban Scearce. 
Noah Simpson, and Robert Hambrlght — Pioneers of the vicinity of 
Newville: James Flood, J. B. and Joseph James, M. Kendrick, James 
Kilgore, Lysander V. Cushman. Rufus G. Burrows, John Masterson, 

B. N. Scribner. James A. Shelton and George W. Millsaps — Joseph Mill- 
saps — Pioneers of Stony Creek Valley, between Elk Creek and Stony- 
ford: L. L. Felkner, Robert Anderson, Watt Briscoe, Wilcox, Parrish, 
Bowman, J. S. B. West. Jack and Dave Lett, W. E. Green and W. W. 
and Alfred Green. The Drought of 1864: The drought state-wide— 
Widespread loss of herds and flocks — Effect upon the introduction of 


The Era of the Grain-grower 207 

FiusT Attempts at Graix-growixg: Wheat and barley first planted in 
1851 — Squatter claims abandoned on the plains on account of drought 
and grasshoppers — Settlement of the plains fostered by the govern- 
ment — Dawning of the new era. Ixflux of Settlers: Grain-growers 
come in from Solano County — Grain farmers who settled in Glenn 
County from 1868 to 1873: Dr. Hugh J. Glenn, I. V. Devenpeck, Ad. 
Duncan, H. A. Greenwood, Henry W. Steuben, P. B. Lacroix. W. T. 
Troxel, Daniel Zumwalt, G. D. Mecum, Chris. Jasper and J. A. Smith. 
Growth axd Decline of the Inihstry: Yield in Colusa and Glenn 
Counties increased to a million sacks by 1872 — Some farmers go back 
to sheep-raising — Dr. H. J. Glenn's operations — Increased acreage sown 
to grain — Damage by rust — Depredations of wild geese and ducks — 
1880 a banner year of the grain-growers; Dr. Glenn produces almost a 
million bags of wheat — Other large growers of 1880: George Hoag. 
William Murdock, Pierre Barceloux. P. B. Lacroix. Charles Merrill, 
I. V. Devenpeck, Ad. Duncan, Laban Scearce, H. B. Julian, Patrick 
O'Brien, Joseph Billiou and C. S. Chambers — Eight million bushels of 
grain produced in 1885 — The "norther" of 1886 — Advent of the com- 
bined harvester, 1887 — Introduction of the steam tractor, 1889 — Exhaus- 
tion of the soil and decrease in crop yields in the early nineties — Intro- 
duction of summer-fallowing, and association of grain-growing with 
stock-raising. Grain-growing on the Grant: Dr. Hugh J. Glenn at 
one time the largest grain farmer in the United States — His early 
operations in the state, in mining, freighting, and the live-stock busi- 
ness — He begins farming in Yolo County with Major Briggs in 1865 — 
The Glenn ranch at Jacinto — Dr. Glenn's holdings increased until they 


comprised about fifty-five thousand acres — About forty-five thousand 
acres farmed to wheat and barley — Pacts and statistics showing the ex- 
tensive operations carried on by Dr. Glenn — Death of Dr. Glenn and 
subdivision of the great ranch— The Glenn home site at Jacinto, owned 
by Mrs. Ella Glenn Leonard— The estate of Charles H. Glenn — "Glen- 
nair," the home of Frank Buckner Glenn. 


County Division, and Organization of the New County 212 

Location of county seat at Colusa inconvenient for residents of the 
northern portion of the county — Revenues of the county not equitably 
expended— The "Courthouse Ring"— Discontent in the north — Prank 
Freeman, editor of the Orland Times, espouses the cause of county 
division, ISSO — The first plan for county division— Agitation renewed 
in 1882, and a bill introduced providing for the creation of a new 
county to be called "Glenn" — Circulation of petition — The bill defeated 
— Activities of the Divisionists and Anti-divisionists during the session 
of 188S-1S89 — Act creating the new county passed by Legislature, but 
not signed by Governor Waterman — Third bill introduced in 1890-1891, 
■ passed by both houses, and signed by Governor Markham — Commis- 
sioners appointed and election called to determine whether the new 
county should be organized— The election of May 5, 1891- Election 
canvassed by the commissioners. May 11, 1891, and act declared ratified 
— List of officers elected— Suit brought in the Superior Court of Sacra- 
mento County, praying for an order of court against the division of 
the county — Action decided in favor of division — Appeal made to the 
Supreme Court, and decision of lower court sustained — Suits instituted 
at Marysville, but finally dropped — The cause of county division cham- 
pioned by Prank Freeman from 1880 to 1891— The Hon. K. E. Kelley. 


The Tears Immediately Following County Division 216 

Pactions created by county division — The panic of 1893 — Construction 
of county roads, bridges and buildings — Laying of the corner stone of 
the courthouse — Organization and service of Company G — Agricultural 
Association and the races— Famous trials— New enterprises— List of 
county officers, 1892-1916. 


The Era of Irrigation 225 

Irrigation meeting of May, 1875, and the filing and location of private 
water rights — Early irrigation— Irrigation district projects — Will S. 
Green, and tjie Central Irrigation District— Orland Irrigation Project 
— Late canal irrigation development— Well and pumping-plant irriga- 
tion development. 


Willows 234 

Origin of the name— Early settlers and selection of the town site — The 
Southern Pacific enters Willows— Growth of the town— Early confla- 
grations — Organization for protection against fire — The solar eclipse 
of 1889— Musical organizations — Clubs— The period of growth — The 
passing of the saloon— The churches— Secret organizations — The 
schools— The library— Sheridan Park— The State High-syay- The Fed- 
eral Building — Stability and growth. 


Orland 245 

Choice of the name— Settlement and early development — The college 
at Orland— The Bank of Orland— A patriotic event— Irrigation and 
development— The schools— The Orland Joint Union High School— The 
churches — Fraternal and civic organizations — The saloons — Industries 
— Appearance of the town — A list of the business places — The profes- 
sions—The Glenn County Livestock and Agricultural Association. 



Abel, George Lambert 817 

Abel, John P..., SIS 

Addington, Mrs Eliz.ibeth 423 

Addington, Stephen 420 

Ajax, Thomas G S35 

Alexander, Chark'b 8S8 

Anderson. Thomas Talbot 689 

Annand, John.. 263 

Applegate, William J 994 

Arbuckle, Tacitus R 4S5 

Arvedson. Charles Adolphus 956 

Ash, Louis 683 

Ash, Capt. William 930 

Ash, William H 626 

Austin, C. L 307 

Austin, Prank Joseph 1063 


Ballard, Leander S 614 

Ballard, Robert Bruce 610 

Bane, Paul Davis 9S5 

Bank of Princeton 102S 

Bank of Willows 368 

Barceloux Ernest J .1051 

Barceloux, Pierre 523 

Barham, William 918 

Bartlett, Clifford 982 

Beckwith, Byron D 569 

Bedford, John Archibald 827 

Beeck, John 589 

Beguhl & Belieu 1001 

Behr, Ernst E 1012 

Belieu, W. T 844 

Bell, Merton 988 

Berens, Peter V. and Johannes J... 803 

Berger, George A 625 

Beville, William Thomas 463 

Bickford, Octavius Freeland 917 

Billion, Joseph 448 

Birch, Tlieodore B 775 

Blake, Charles S 1049 

Blichteldt, Henry W 853 

Blichfeldt, John 854 

Blondin, Mrs. Mae 738 

Boardman, Frank Dayton 898 

Boardman, Wilbur Warren 806 

Boedefeld, Luke R 556 

Bondurant, Jesse L 713 

Boggs, Hon. John 260 

Boren, Emil 770 

Bostrom, C. N 763 

Boyd. James 296 

Branham, Henry V 1001 

Brim, Elbert A 820 

Brough, John H 989 

Brown, David 391 

Brown, George Lorenzo 617 

Brown, Uriah Waverly 561 

Brown, William Wallace 535 

Brownell, Irving Woodbridge 434 

Briiggmann, Jochim 904 

Brys, Cyprien 847 

Buckner, George M 810 

Burger, Jerry Alexander 433 

Burrows, Rufus G 381 

Burton. Benjamin Howell 608 

Butler, Charles A 696 

Butler, Eugene Thompson 657 

Butte City Ranch 1045 


Cain, John Edgar 652 

Calvert. Benjamin F 796 

Carpenter. William Gordon 831 

Chaney, William 743 

Clark, Andrew Jackson 815 

Clark, Willard 970 

Cockerill, Mrs. Charles W 543 

Colusa County Bank 583 

Colusa County Free Library 826 

Conklin, Marcus L 686 

Cowan, David C 1009 

Cramer, Douglas 393 

Crane, Jefferson Davis 295 

Crutcher, James Wilson 376 

Crystal Baths and Amusement Park 951 

Culver, A. Holly 786 

Curry, John J 866 


Davis, Mayberry 409 

Deacon, Arthur P., D. D. S 938 

DeGaa, Harrison Darrough 300 

Delpapa, John. 729 

De Thier, David 1067 

Dickson, Walter 1070 

Dodd, William 703 

Domonoske, Henry 908 

Donohoe, Charles L 342 

Douville, Mrs. Belle 959 

Drew, Leland Stanford 784 

Drew, Willis 386 

Dunlap, Herman 871 

Dunning, Robert Bruce 995 

Durbrow, William 1015 

Durham, John F 895 

Durham, Oscar Minton 525 


Earp, Peter Asbury 492 

Elbe, Pacific Ord 257 

El Rio Rancho 1016 

Erickson, Arthur 1050 

Eubank, Joseph C . 671 


r, ..-1048 

Fallon. James P ^ g^Q 

Farnham, Lindley P- ■ „ 

Felts. Christopher Columbus.. 416 

pfrst National Bank and First 

savings Bank of Colusa 609 

Fitch, Lucius Hubbard i^^* 

Flanagan. Ed ^25 

Flood. John ^25 

Flood, Mrs. Mary ^^^g 

Ford, Henry .^ ^^^ 

French, Curry M ggs 

French. Milton .„ 

Fruchtenicht, Jacob " 


Garnett. Hugh ^- y-- IqT 

Garnett. James Richard *!^^ 

Garnett. Peter R ■- „iq 

Garnett. Mrs. Ruth A^ McCune 319 

Gatliff. William W., M. D 55b 

Gattsch, John Henry ^^^^ 

Gelston. A. M - „„„ 

Gibson. William Wallace «»' 

Gillaspy. George Richard a^* 

Girard, Alcid D .. 

Glenn, Hugh James 

Gobel. Frank Leslie ^^^ 

Gobel. Obadiah g^g 

Golden. Edward J ^^r^ 

Golden, Michael .----■ •--••; .^ 

Graves, Fountain Columbus if 

Grealy, Rev. Father P. A ^-0 

Green, Edward E ^^^ 

Green. Parley H..-^ „-. 

Green, Mrs. Sallie B 

Green. Will Semple ^■ 

Greenwood, Hiram A ^° 

Greenwood, Willis A '" 

Grenfell. Roy W °g^ 

Grey. John H - •- .,„„q 

Grieve. Lundy Lloyd. i"^^ 

Gritfin, Thomas David ^^^ 

Griffith, Jonathan ^^^ 

Grimes, Cleaton 

Grimm, Peter Henry 

Guenon, Gustave """" 

Guilford, William ■^"*' 

Guilford. William Sumner 




Hale. Edward F. 

Halterman. John W.. fj' 

Hamann. Jochim Frederick lOb* 

Hamilton, John C. 


Hancock, Arthur Raymond 974 

Hansen. Charles «"9 

Hanson, George M f^ 

Hanson, Nicholas Wilson 39S 

Hanson, William P 398 

Harbison, James C *»" 

Harbison & Kitchin ^d* 

Harden, George B 0^' 

Harder. August F »■*" 

Harder. Hans Henry 9^7 

Harelson, Adelbert James -. vbu 

Harelson, Charles M ^59 

Harelson, Ellsworth C 664 

Harlan, Thomas Helm 51* 

Harlan, Thomas William -^ 51» 

Harlan. William P.. M. D., D. 35b 

Harrington, John Curry 968 

Harrington, Tennent 454 

Harrington, Hon. William Pierce.. 353 

Harrison, Jasper M 774 

Harrold, Herbert F 1073 

Hart, Fred 940 

Haskell, Hardy J ^"* 

Hassig, Jacob °*^ 

Hastings, George Washington 646 

Haugh, Patrick Henry 577 

Hawortb, Thomas Eugene 10^7 

Hazelton, John B 957 

Heathcote, Edward ^b» 

Held, Fred M !"•" 

Henning, August ... ^** 

Henning, Walter M 60^ 

Hicks, Proctor Knott 744 

Hicks, Thomas Jefferson 7^^ 

High, Mr. and Mrs. G H 652 

Hine, Benjamin oil 

Hochheimer, Hon. Amiel ^^1 

Hochheimer, Ira .. 332 

Hochheimer, Moses ^^" 

Hoever, Mrs. John H 451 

Houchins, Henry Lewis 6^5 

Houchins, Samuel 6db 

Hudson, Lindsey .. »^^ 

Huffmaster, Leonard 8»5 

Hulen. John Thomas 580 

Hurlburt, Frank C »»" 

Husted, Henry ' »9 

Huttmann, Elmer J ^'^^ 

Hynes, Rev. Father M J 


Jacobsen, Richard 

James, Joseph 

Jctnsen, Claus F... 
Jasper, Carl Henry 
Jellison, Miller H. 
Johnson, Albert Henry 
Johnson, Paul D. 
Johnson, William 
Jones, Mrs. Mary G. 

Jones, P. G 

Jones, Ralph T 





Kaerth, Jacob William 701 

Kaiser, Amiel ^Sd 

Kauffman, Bert P 1"^5 

Keegan, Mathew J »"» 

Keim, William Henry lOOfa 

Kelly. John ■.■-,■;■•.- IJi 

Kesselring, Francis Marion »9l 

Kibby, Eli J 996 

Kidd, William T 975 

King, Charles Bmmett 9ld 

Kirkpatrlck, Margaret Ashurst 457 


Kirkpatrick, Thomas J 457 

Kirkup, William 870 

Kissling, Jean 1072 

Kissling, John 1071 

Kissling, Peter SB'S 

Kitchin, Allen. r)6S 

Klewe, William P 84^ 

Knight, John E 445 

Knock, Bayard t>79 

Knock, Thomas L '.29 

Krohn, Peter... 5 !7 

Kronsbein, Arthur F 1000 

Kuhlmey, Henry 504 


Lacroix. Paschal B 1004 

Lambirth. Charles Leroy S79 

Larsson, Siegfried A 981 

Laustau, John 1061 

Laux, Frederick 927 

Leachman, Ord L.. 753 

Leake, Mrs. Sarah 572 

Leonard, John M 1029 

Logan, Hugh A 279 

Logan, John Stephen 347 

Lovelace, Charles William 647 

Lovelace, John H 661 

Lovelady, William J 848 

Lowe, Samuel James 397 

Lucas, James LeRoy 934 

Luce, Alonzo 567 

Luce, Alonzo, Sr 564 

Luce, Zachariah 685 

Ludy, William Wirt 935 

Lundeen, Jonas 943 


McComish, Charles Davis 471 

McCune, John 469 

McDaniel, Elijah 273 

McDaniel, J. E 282 

McDaniel, Levi Jefferson 378 

McEnespy, Frank Chapman 942 

McGahan, Mrs. Edith Morris 925 

McGowan, Henry W 1008 

McGrath, Rev. Father C. C 538 

McLouth, Charles M 1055 

McMath, Henry K 990 

McVay, Irwin Nelson 1020 

McVay, Joseph Edwin 723 

McVay, William Nelson 924 

Macoun, David B 767 

Mallon, James F 1026 

Manor, Alexander B 944 

Manor, Harry W 9,?9 

Manzanita & Cherrv Mines, The 307 
Markham, George W 452 

Maroney, Thomas E 8.^7 

Marshall, Hubbard F 72n 

Marshall, William W '..! ! 

Martens, Hans H 792 

Martinelli, A. L. 896 

Mason, George Lemuel 893 

Masterson, Dennis Hugh 418 

Masterson, Edward Kendrick 769 

Masterson, James ... 581 

Maxey, Roy 1031 

Mehl. John 367 

Mehrens, Albert 802 

Mellor, George 680 

Merrill, Morris A 549 

Miller, William Frank 362 

Milligan, Henry 690 

Minton, Perry William 961 

Minton, Silas D 955 

Mitchell, James Ewing 668 

Mitchell, Leo Arthur 793 

Moline, Peter E 950 

Monroe, Daniel P 323 

Monroe. John William 613 

Moore, Allen T 731 

Moore, Dick 881 

Morey, Amos James 1018 

Morris, John M 857 

Morrissey, James Byron 429 

Morrissey. William Henry 749 

Muller, Mrs. Caroline 841 

Myers, Lucinda A 966 

Myhre, Chris 477 


Nason, Fred Arthur 869 

Nelson, Dorr S 822 

Nelson, Edward 1057 

Nelson, John 259 

Newland, Joel Francis 413 

Newman. Mrs. Mary 301 

Newsom, Thomas H 667 

Nichols, Leslie A 717 

Nichols, Richard Henry 842 

Nichols. Mrs. Willie Bell 773 

Nordyke. Joseph 905 

O'Brien. James Patrick 322 

O'Hair. Michael 562 

Osgood. Harry P 616 

Ossenbriiggen. Matthias 308 

O'Sullivan Brothers 859 

O'Sullivan, Jeremiah 860 

Otterson, William Harvey 310 

Overholtzer, J 718 


Packer. Mrs. Clara C 648 

Papst, William H 430 

Paulson. John 1052 

Peake. Edwin Henry 874 

Pearson, Charles E 663 

Pence, George B 658 

Pence. Marvin Earl 876 

Peterich, John Henry 986 

Petersen. William J 348 

Peterson, Vincent A 503 

Phelps, Robert Evermont 902 

Pieper, Amiel D 678 

Pinney, William M 949 

Pleau, Louis 1062 


Pleck, John ob4 

Polrler, Chester G 633 

Potts, George Monroe and Martha 

Jane '^36 

Price, John '^26 

Prlne, David 508 

Provence, Harvey Edward 972 

Province, Nathan 533 

Pryor, Benjamin Pollard 875 

Purliitt, Hon. Claude F 439 

Purkitt, George Henry 337 

Purkitt, Mrs. Theodora Tiffee, M.D. 359 

Quigley, Patrick S 919 

Quint, Herman 408 


Rademacher. Anthony 989 

Rahm. Roscoe 863 

Rasmusson, Julian Martin 741 

Rathbun, William T., M. D 607 

Rawlins. Henry Grove 672 

Rawlins, Thomas Franklin 587 

Reager, Frank S 470 

Reager. Louis M 392 

Reed, Henry E 920 

Rees, J. S., D. D. S 929 

Rehse. Hans Henry 795 

Rehse, Henry Edward 852 

Reidy, Timothy 593 

Renaud, Andre 1059 

Retterath. George 780 

Rice, Martin Luther 552 

Rice, Thomas A 546 

Rider, Charles A 1007 

Roebuck, Francis H 1003 

Ryan, Francis J 571 

Ryan, James H 707 

Ryan, John Andrew 623 

Ryan, John P 684 


St. Louis, Antwine T 692 

St. Louis, George E 410 

St. Louis, Henry B 436 

St. Louis, Raymond E 952 

Sale, Joseph S : 584 

Sanderson, Joseph Virgil 926 

Sanford, Charles P 1027 

Schillig, Frank 1039 

Schmidt, Christian Friedrich 590 

Schmidt, Prank K 708 

Schohr, Max Paul 620 

Sears, David Price 1069 

Seaver Brothers 619 

Sehorn, Andrew Wallace 483 

Sehorn, Cathy M :. 349 

Sehorn, Edward Marion 447 

Sheldon, Charles C 1019 

Shellooe, Daniel 460 

Shellooe, Daniel A 461 

Sickels, M. A 735 

Sidener, Flint W 998 

Sievers, Hans 574 

Simpson, Preston L 967 

Sites, John 510 

Sites, William Franklin 639 

Slocum, H. P. & Son 1013 

Smith, Eugene P 987 

Smith, John Andrew 415 

Smith, Capt. Thomas Alexander.... 714 

Snowden, George Washington 305 

Snowden, James William 327 

Soeth, John William 833 

Somers, Charles Hugh 339 

Spalding Ranch, The 1013 

Sparrow Brothers 947 

Speier, Leon 811 

Spencer, Mrs. Maud 1034 

Stahl Brothers 791 

Stahl, Christopher 791 

Stahl, John 791 

Stanley, John 1041. 

Stanton, Claude D 751 

Stanton, Seth W 979 

Stillwell, Stephen A 873 

Stinchfield, Moses 498 

Stinson, Rocsoe 1024 

Stormer, Samuel Isaac 406 

Stovall, Charles Edwin 764 

Stovall, Jesse Curl 372 

Sutton, Joseph A 464 

Sweet, Charles K 976 

Talbot, James Robinson 467 

Taylor, George Newton 880 

Teal, Franklin Pierce ; 1011 

Templeton, Charles A 858 

Tennant, Robert L 846 

Tenney, Joseph G 708 

Tenney & Schmidt 708 

Terrill, John Roach and Amanda.. 628 

Thayer, Albert Austin 519 

Thomas, John 954 

Thompson, John Stickney 911 

Thompson, Leonard 394 

Tiffee, John R 275 

Tolley, James B 937 

Tremblay, Francis X., M. D 355 

Trexler, John Wesley 540 

Triplett, Eli 630 

Troxel, Frank W 757 

Troxel, George W. 697 

Troy Laundry . 978 

Tucker, David C 604 

Turman, Hosea B. 395 

Tuttle, Lewis Edmund, D V S 742 
Twede, Lars Hansen 674 

Vanderford, George 932 

Van Scyoc, Jackson 691 

Van Syckle, Henry Weaver 494 

Vestner, Charles A 1005 

von Renner, Rev. Herman J 836 



Walker. John 486 

Walter, Karl E 962 

Ward, John C 654 

Ware. George A 361 

Waugh. Oscar 662 

Weast. John Kyle 747 

Webb, Joseph H 777 

Welton. Arthur T 882 

West, Alfred L 838 

West, Hiram Leroy 427 

West. Richard Franklin, D. D. S 941 

Weyand, Hon. Ernest 473 

Weyand. Julius 479 

Wheeler, William Walter 992 

White. James Albert and Edna 799 

Whitsett, Charles A 1054 

Whyler, Edward Henry 805 

Whyler, Frederick William 805 

Wickes, Clarence R 762 

Wilderman, Joseph 997 

Williams, Andrew 276 

Williams. Mrs. Sarah W. Gary 375 

Williams. Solomon Hasbrook 1022 

Williams, William Henry 288 

Wren. C. Hugh 1010 

Wright. George E 594 

Wright, Eddie L 768 

Wright, Robert Mills 778 

Wright, William Tolles 512 


Yarbrough, Robert 660 

Yer.xa. Woodford A 963 

Young. Robert Harvey 706 

Zornig, Julius August 
Zumwalt, Joseph . 
Zumwalt, William R. 





By Charles Davis McCouiish 

It ocenrs to me that possibly a history of Colusa County ought 
to begin with a history of the histories of Colusa County. For 
the present work is not by any means the first of its kind. At 
least two volumes have preceded it, devoted exclusively to a his- 
tory of this county. 

The first was a most complete and interesting work written 
by the late Will S. Green and pubished in 1880. It was exhaust- 
ive in its detail, was copiously illustrated, and forms an exceed- 
ingly valuable contribution to local historical literature, because 
much of the material contained in it was drawn from the author's 
personal experiences in the very earh' days of this county. 

The second of the two histories of the county was written 
by Justus H. Eogers, a newspaper man of Orland, and was pub- 
lished in 1891. It, too, is a complete and valuable work, one 
whose interest and value will increase as time passes. 

Besides the books above mentioned, Colusa County has had 
chapters in numerous histories of the state, histories of the 
Sacramento Valley, and the like, that have been published from 
time to time, but were more or less incomplete because of the 
wide fields they covered. 

As thirty-seven years have elapsed since the Green history 
was published, and twenty-six years since the publication' of the 
Eogers history, and as history is made with exceeding rapidity 
in a comparatively new community, it has been deemed wise to 
undertake once again the recording of the events that have made 
the history of the county, bringing the account down to date 
and leaving the facts on record, so that future historians may 
take up the story and carry it along, in order that it may be 
kept continuous. For one of the chief differences between civil- 
ized and savage peoples is this, that the latter leave no written 
records of their activities. 

The existence of the two works mentioned above, and the 
completeness with which they have gone into the early history 
of this county, will influence the present author to touch those 


early events comparatively lightly and to lay more stress npon 
the events of the period elapsing since the publication of the 
former histories of the county — events that as yet are not per- 
manently recorded. For the current events of today will be the 
history of tomorrow, and it will be read by the student of the 
future with just as mucii interest and profit as will the records 
of the beginnings of our county. 


Eaely History of Califorxia 

A history of Colusa County naturally should be prefaced with 
a brief history of the state, in order to "lead up to the subject" 
properly. In the present case the preliminary recital of events 
will l)e very brief, merely enough to connect up the work in 
hand with the general events of the time, in order that as much 
time and space as possible may be devoted to the happenings with- 
in the county' itself. 

When the year 1542, A. D., dawned, the eye of a white man, 
so far as we know, had never looked upon the empire we now 
call California. There are legends and stories extant to the 
effect that one Manuelo, a Spanish sailor, had been left for dead 
on the shores of San Francisco Bay by his companions, who had 
come ashore from their vessel for fresh water and got into a 
fight with the Indians. This is said to have been between 1535 
and 1540, and Manuelo is said to have recovered and lived with 
the Indians for several years before he found his way back to 
civilization; but the story is so hazy aud improbable that it is 
hardly worthy of belief. The voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, 
one of the lieutenants of Cortez, up the coast from Mexico, where 
the Spaniards had a number of strong colonies, is the first visit to 
California by the whites, of which we have any definite record. 
This was in September of 1542, just fifty years after Columbus dis- 
covered America, and three hundred seventy-five years ago. For 
far the greater part of that three hundred seventy-five years, 
California was little disturbed by glances from the eyes of white 
men. It lay and slept in its mellow sunshine, walled off from the 
rest of the world by almost impenetrable mountains on one side 
and the almost boundless ocean on the other. Year after year the 
trees budded in the spring and shed their leaves in the fall; the 
grasses flourished and died away as the seasons passed over 
them ; rabbits, antelope, elk and other herbiverous animals roamed 
the plains and valleys in countless numbers ; the Indians fought or 


comi^romised with the grizzly bear and the mountain lion ; the 
seasons rolled on — and the great state slept in its silent isolation. 

It was thirty-seven years after Cabrillo explored San Diego 
Bay and died on the shores of California, that Sir Francis Drake, 
the Englishman, reached California, in 1579, on the memorable 
trip that took him around the world. He of course found no trace 
of any previous explorations or settlements, and believed that he 
was the first white man to reach these shores. He landed, and 
as was the custom of Englishmen, took possession of everything 
in sight — and everything that touched anything in sight — in the 
name of his sovereign. Then he headed across the Pacific for 

During the twenty-three years following Drake's visit to 
California, three or four Spanish vessels visited the coast; but in 
each instance their stay was brief, and they accomplished nothing 
of permanence or value. The last of them came in 1602 ; and then 
again, for one hundred sixty-seven years, California was allowed 
to sleep absolutely unmolested by white men. 

This brings us to the year 1769, when Father Junipero Serra 
established the mission at San Diego, the first permanent settle- 
ment in California, and the first of the famous California mis- 
sions, the last of which was established in 1823. 

The period from 1769 to 1833 marked the growth and pros- 
perity of the missions in California. There were twenty-one of 
them, all told, extending in a line along or near the coast from 
San Diego to Sonoma. Most of them were prosperous, and some 
of them were exceedingly rich in lauds, live stock, fruits and 
grains. Each had a pojjulation of from five hundred to two 
thousand people, most of whom were converted Indians. Of San 
Luis Eey, the largest of the missions, it has been said that "at 
one time it had a baptized Indian population of several thousand, 
owned twenty-four thousand cattle, ten thousand horses, and one 
hundred thousand sheep, and harvested fourteen thousand bushels 
of grain a year." 

From 1769, when the establishment of the missions began, 
till 1824, when Mexico achieved her independence from Spain, the 
missions were subservient to the latter country; and it was the 
strictness of the Spanish laws governing commerce that kept them 
from becoming more of a power in the commercial world. They 
were allowed to trade only with Spain, and in Spanish ships; 
and as grapes, fruits, nuts, and wines were produced also in 
Spain, the only things Spain needed to buy of them were hides and 
tallow, which came to be the chief articles of commerce. Of 
course their commercial activities were thus greatly impeded and 
their isolation promoted. 


When Mexico shook off the yoke of Spain in 1824, California, 
because of the great distance from Spain, cast in her lot with 
Mexico, although the sympathies of the people of the missions 
and of the large ranchos surrounding them were largely with the 
mother country. At this time practically all of the white people 
of the state were Spaniards connected with the missions, the 
presidios or forts guarding the missions, and the ranchos in the 
neighborhood of the missions, the only exception worthy of note 
being a colony of Russians who established a fur-trading post at 
Fort Eoss, in Marin County, in 1812. 

But about this time American and British wanderers began 
to drift into the state, most of them being hunters and trappers. 
One of these was Jedediah S. Smith, a trapper who arrived in 
1825 and was said to have been the first white man to cross the 
Sierra Nevada Mountains. A few of these adventurers settled 
down, married into the Spanish families, and made permanent 
homes here. Prominent among these early American settlers was 
one Chapman, who deserted from a pirate ship that had come 'up 
from the coast of South America and plundered some of the mis- 
sions and ranchos during the troublous times of the Mexican- 
Spanish War. Chapman, it seems, was a sort of genius in mechan- 
ical and other ways, and he proved to be a great help to the 
padres of the missions in imj^roving many of their domestic 
processes and operations. He finally fell in love with and mar- 
ried the daughter of Captain Ortega, the discoverer of San Fran- 
cisco Bay, and lived a long, contented and useful life in the state. 
Conditions of life were extremely pleasant in those days, and it 
was easy to drift into a condition of dreamy contentment and 
luxury. Many a modern man, tired of the busy bustle of today, 
has wished devoutly that his lot might have been cast with the 
gay and care-free inhabitants of California before the ' ' Gringos ' ' 

But the days of the missions were fast passing. As soon as 
Mexico had gained her independence, she staged the first of that 
series of internal revolutions that has lasted till this day. Mexico, 
from the beginning, has been a Ijusy country, governmentally ; and 
naturally she had little time to give to the government of her 
colony, California. Most of the governors she sent up were poli- 
ticians of the worst type ; and their task was not lightened by the 
fact that most of the Spanish population preferred Spanish to 
Mexican rule, while a large element of the people hoped to see 
California one of the United States. 

Mexico, as soon as she had upon her hands the responsibil- 
ities of a self-governing country, ceased to send funds for the 
support of the government in California, having, no doubt, 


abuiulaut use at home for all the funds she could raise. The 
local officials, in their need, turned to the missions, and for several 
years nearly all the governmental expenses of the colony were 
supplied by the padres. 

When, in 1810, Mexico began lier revolution against Spain, 
the Spanish authorities apparently believed that the California 
missions would take sides with, or at least would be a great help 
to, Mexico, and ordered that the missions be abolished. Spain 
did not have the power to have the order carried out, however, 
and the missions continued to exist for about twenty years. But, 
dei)rived of the protection of the mother country, and neglected 
and plundered by Mexico, the once prosperous missions came upon 
evil days. Their prosperity and happiness waned, and in 1833 
the Mexican government completed their destruction by an order 
that they be completely secularized, that their lands be divided 
among the converted Indians, and the padres be sent to other 

The decay of the mission settlements and the disappearance 
of the peaceful pastoral life about them was rapid. The Indians 
were unable to take care of themselves without the guidance of the 
padres ; and they were speedily stripped of tli^ir lands, cattle and 
other possessions. During the period between 1833 and 1842, 
hunters, trappers and other adventurers were coming into the 
state with great frequency, and a new order in California was 
beginning. Captain John Sutter, the Swiss pioneer, arrived in 
1839, and John Bidwell and party in 1811. By 1842 the fame of 
California's lands and climate had spread throughout the LTnited 
States, and that year there occurred the first wave of the great 
flood of immigration to California. Hundreds of people came 
across the plains to see or settle in the wonderful new land. 

By 1846 the new order was fairly well established. The 
Americans in the state were so numerous and so confident that 
they organized the Bear Flag army of some thirty-three men — 
several of whom afterwards became citizens of Colusa County — 
waged the Bear Flag war for the overthrow of Mexican rule, took 
General Vallejo prisoner, and cooperated with Commodore John 
D. Sloat, who had arrived about that time with two vessels and 
had captured Monterey, in the complete taking over of the gov- 
ernment of California from Mexican to American domination and 

In 1848 gold was discovered by James W. Marshall in the 
race of a sawmill he was building for Captain Sutter, forty miles 
east of Sacramento ; and a few months later the crest of the great 
flood of newcomers had struck the state. Of course many of the 
gold-seekers were disappointed; and this, together with the ad- 


mission of California as a state in 1850, led to the rapid explo- 
ration and settlement of all parts of the state — which brings us 
directly to the history of Colusa County. 


Early Explorations and First Settlers 
Early Explorations 

Colusa County as we know it today (1918) is not the Colusa 
County that was organized in 1851. The county as first organized 
comprised all of what is now Colusa and Glenn Counties, and part 
of what is now Tehama County. But in 1855 the state legislature 
passed a bill cutting off, and adding to Tehama County, all that 
part of Colusa County lying north of township 22, the present 
northern boundary of Glenn County. The part taken away was 
six townships, or thirty-six miles, wide, and included the city 
of Red Bluff. In 1891 the county was again diyided and Glenn 
County was formed, the line of diyision being drawn through 
township 18, north; and thus Colusa County lost another strip 
of territory, this one being about twenty-eight miles wide. 

The present County of Colusa lias its northwest corner on 
the summit of the Coast Range Mountains, in township 18, north, 
range 8, west, from the Mount Diablo base and meridian. The 
northern boundary runs i)arallel with, and a mile and a half north 
of, the line dividing townshii)s 17 and 18, and is a straight line 
except near Princeton, where a section of it about six miles long is 
moved about two miles north. The intersection of this north 
boundary and Butte Creek constitutes the northeast corner of the 
county, and the east boundary is composed of Butte Creek and 
the Sacramento River. The south boundary is the line between 
townships 12 and 13, and the west boundary runs along the sum- 
mit of the Coast Range Mountains to the northwest corner, the 
"place of beginning," as the land descriptions say. It is about 
thirty-one and a half miles in a straight line through the county 
from north to south, and alwut forty-eight miles from east to 
west at the widest point. 

Having thus tixed the limits of the territory we are dealing 
with, we shall see that this history must differ with earlier his- 
tories of the county in that it takes in a great deal less territory 
For at the time those earlier works were written, Colusa County 
included what is now Glenn County, the historical record of 
which will be found in a separate department of this volume. The 


narrative that is to follow herein will deal only with what is now 
Colusa County. 

Three hundred years i)assed after Cabrillo landed in Cali- 
fornia, and still the land that is called Colusa County remained 
unseen by white man. If you, dear reader, had happened along 
here only seventy-five years ago, you would have owned the first 
white man's eyes to gaze upon the broad expanse of your county. 
Possibly your eyes were not in seeing condition seventy-five years 
ago, but your father or mother might well have done so — so short 
is the time it has taken this county to emerge out of the wilder- 
ness and evolve into the highly civilized community that it is 
today! At the beginning of 18-1:3, this part of the world lay ex- 
actly as it had been created by Nature. No white man had ever 
set foot upon it, although it may be that this statement requires 
some qualification. We have some rather hazy accounts of a band 
or two of trappers who passed up and down the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento ^"alleys ; but there is no record of their route through 
this valley, and as they were on the east side of the San Joaquin, 
they no doubt kept the east side of the Sacramento and of Butte 
Creek, and thus missed Colusa County altogether. 

The first whites of whose entry upon Colusa County soil there 
is definite record are told of by Gen. John Bidwell. They were 
a party that had come from the Eastern States to Oregon in 
1842, and in 1843 made the trip overland from Oregon down 
through the Sacramento Valley to Sutter's ranch, where Sacra- 
mento now stands. Their conduct seems to have been of such a 
nature as to inspire anything but pride in their achievements. Gen- 
eral Bidwell tells rather fully of their journey through the valley; 
and as they were the first authenticated exi)lorers of this county, 
and the story of their treatment of the Indians explains quite 
comprehensively why the Indian has not been able to withstand the 
advance of "civilization," I quote at some length from General 
Bidwell's narrative: 

"This party had with them men. two at least, who might 
be st.vled 'Indian killers,' and on the way very frequentl}' fired 
at Indians seen in the distance. The better portion tried to dis- 
suade them from this uncalled-for conduct, with, however, only 
partial success. On arriving at the present site of Red Bluff, 
the company camped early in the day, intending to remain dur- 
ing the night, but broke up camp hastily owing to the following 
incident: One of the 'Indian killers,' seeing an Indian on the 
opposite side of the river, swam over, carrying a butcher-knife in 
his mouth. The Indian allowed him to approach till he came 
very close, but at last ran away. The man with the knife pur- 
sued him, threw a stone, and, crippling the Indian, completed 


his bai-l>arous work by Idlliug him with his kuife. The party 
iu camp, now fearing Indian retaliation, concluded to travel on. 
After a few miles an Indian was observed following them, no 
doubt out of curiosity and not because he had heard of the kill- 
ing of a member of his tribe a few hours previously. One of 
the 'Indian killers,' seeing the opportunity for another murder, 
hid iu the brush till the Indian came up, and shot him. The 
company continued to travel on the west side of the Sacramento 
Eiver with more than ordinary haste, feeling very insecure lest 
the Indians, who were very numerous in the valley at that time, 
should exhibit hostility on account of what had occurred. One 
of the encampments, I remember, was near the river, below 
what is now called Stony Creek, then Capay Eiver, in Colusa 
County. The Indians, however, came near in considerable num- 
bers, and hence evidently had not heard of the shooting and 
kniving just mentioned. In the morning, as they were packing 
up to leave camp, one of the 'Indian killers' missed his bridle 
and swore the 'damned Indians' had stolen it — a most unrea- 
sonable thing, since the Indians had no horses and never had. 
In his rage he fired at an Indian who stood by a tree about one 
hundred yards distant. The Indian fell back into the brush, 
while the rest of his frightened companions fled in great haste. 
The company was again rendered ]ianicky by the blood-thirsty 
imprudence of the 'Indian killer,' hastened on their journey, 
and found the missing bridle in a few minutes under a pile of 

"All that day the Indians on the east side of the river mani- 
fested great excitement as the company moved along down on 
the west side. For more than forty miles there was at that 
time no place where water could be found for the horses to 
drink, the banks being so steep or so grown up with jungle and 
grape-vine as to be unapproachable. The day following, how- 
ever, the company encamped on the spot where Colusa now 
stands. The excitement among the Indians had now preceded 
them, and consequently numbers of them swarmed on the oppo- 
site side of the river. When the horses were led down to get 
water, in an almost famished condition, the Indians fired at them 
with their arrows, but no one was hit or hurt. 

"The immigrants told their story at Sutter's place, and some 
here thought that the Indians where the shooting was done were 
hostile; but most of them, and the best-informed as I thought, 
did not blame the Indians, in view of previous occurrences. Sut- 
ter, however, concluded to punish them, and went, with about 
fifty men, and attacked the Indian camp at daylight. His forces 
were divided, a part of them going above and crossing on the 


Indian bridge. They were ready to begin a simultaneous attack 
at daybreak. The Indians tied and mostly jumped into the 
river, where they were tired on, and great numbers of them killed, 
after which the Indians in that part of the valley were never 
known to exhibit any i.uri)ose of hostility. I do not believe 
there was sutficient reason to consider them hostile before. At 
any rate, I remember no offensive act on their part, having 
occasion to go among tliem almost a year afterward, twice at 
least, and once with only five men with me, when we camped all 
night near a village without any molestation. Two years later, 
in 1846, I went from Sacramento during the prevalence of a 
great flood, passing not up the river but over the plains, which 
were like a sea of waters, and arriving in a canoe near the place 
where the Indians were killed in 184.3, to trade for Indian twine, 
with which to make seines for taking salmon. No white man 
was with me, only two Indians to paddle the canoe, and I found 
the natives perfectly friendly." 

The above accoi;nt of the first visit of white men to Colusa 
does not constitute a particularly brilliant or satisfying chapter 
in the county's history; but as General Bidwell was a most intelli- 
gent observer, and a man of the highest character, we must 
accept the story as it is, although the reading of it should make 
a decent white man blush for his race. 

It may be stated here, for the sake of clearness and ac- 
curacy, that although General Bidwell states in his writings 
that he passed through what afterward became Colusa County 
on his trip to the Red Bluffs in March of 1843, the route that he 
gives of that trip leads to the conviction that he did not pass 
through any part of what we of today know as Colusa County; 
for it must be remembered that the Colusa County of the present 
is nmch smaller than the original county. 

But the next year, 1844, General Bidwell, executing a commis- 
sion to locate a grant of land for the children of Thomas 0. 
Larkin, merchant and United States consul at Monterey, did 
visit the county, and explored it rather thoroughly. Accompanied 
by an Indian, he came u]) the west side of the valley to a point 
west of where Colusa now stands, camped over night, and the 
next morning headed westward across the plains to see what 
sort of country lay between him and the Coast Range Mountains, 
which he could see in the distance. He struck the Stony Creek 
Valley, followed the^creek down to its confluence with the Sacra- 
mento River, and there met Edward A. Farwell and Thomas 
Fallon, who had come up the river in a canoe to settle on a grant 
that they had oljtained further up the .river. These men must 
also have passed, though by water, through Colusa County. 


General Bidwell fulfilled his mission by mapping out and 
locating a large body of land lying west of the river in the 
vicinity of the present town of Princeton; and this territory is 
known to this day as the Larkin's Children's Eancho, although 
many years have passed since any of the Larkin children had 
anything to do with it. Then the explorer returned to Sutter's 
and told what he had seen. 

Bidwell's story so interested a trapper named Jack Myers 
that he organized a party of trappers and came up to the scene of 
Bidwell's explorations to catch beaver, which were very plentiful. 
But these men had much less intelligence, humanity and patience 
than Bidwell, and were soon in a quarrel with the Indians, the 
result being the death of several of the Indians and the hasty 
withdrawal of the trappers. But they saw the future Colusa 
County, and are mentioned to make the list complete. 

Peter Lassen, for whom Lassen County and Mount Lassen 
were named, with William C. Moon and a man named Merritt, 
came up to Stony Creek in 1845, and on a branch of that stream, 
now called Grindstone Creek, made a canoe load of grindstones, 
which they took down the river for sale at Sutter's and San 
Francisco. These men also passed through and saw the domain 
that was to be Colusa County, although there is no record of 
their being particularly impressed with it. 

The exploration that was to bear immediate and lasting fruit 
in the way of colonization and settlement was made in 1847 by 
Dr. Robert Semple, a Kentuckian, who had been residing for 
some years at Benicia. Dr. Semple had occasion, in the year 
mentioned, to visit some friends who were located near where 
Red Bluff now stands. He made the trip up the valley on horse- 
back, and was deeply impressed with the beauty and fertility of 
the land through which he passed. The luxuriance of the vege- 
tation in the vicinity of the Colus Indian village convinced him 
that here would be a good place for a settlement. When he had 
finished his visit at the northern end of the valley, he determined 
to return by water and explore the course of the river thoroughly, 
to see whether it was navigable or not. Accordingly he made a 
raft of logs and floated all the way down to Sacramento, or Sut- 
ter's Fort, as it was then called, making careful observations, fre- 
quent soundings and many notes. He found navigation rather 
precarious till he reached the Indian village above mentioned, 
after which the channel was broader and deeper, and, in the 
explorer's opinion, capable of sustaining navigation the year 
round. This confirmed him in his belief that the site of the 
Colus village was an ideal location for a city, and he kept these 


facts in mind. AVbeu, two years later, his brother, C. D. Semple, 
arrived from Kentucky to settle in California, the Doctor had a 
location already chosen for him, and easily persuaded him to take 
it; and the result was the founding of the city and county of 
Colusa. Had it not been for the visit of Dr. Semple up the valley 
in 1847, the course of empire, as far as Colusa County is con- 
cerned, might, indeed would, have taken a vastly different way. 

The First Settlers 

This ends the list of travelers and explorers, so far as they 
are known, and brings us to the days of the actual settlers. And 
of these, a man named John S. Williams has the honor of being 
the first. In addition to being the first settler in the county, Mr. 
Williams built the first house ever erected in the county, and his 
wife was the first white woman who ever lived here. 

John S. Williams was sent from Monterey by Thomas 0. 
Larkin to settle upon and conduct as a cattle ranch the grant of 
land the Mexican government had given to the Larkin children, 
Larkin furnishing the cattle to Williams on shares. Williams, in the 
summer of 1847, brought his wife and his cattle up the valley to 
the Larkin grant, and selected as his lieadquarters a spot on 
the John Boggs ranch, where W. A. Yerxa now lives, a mile and 
a half south of Princeton on the west side of the river. Here he 
built himself a comfortable adobe house, and established the first 
home in Colusa County. The live-stock business prospered, and 
the Larkin stock soon covered the plains by thousands, where 
formerly herds of elk and antelope had been. 

The live-stock business, though eminently successful, was not 
sufficiently attractive to counteract the lure of the gold fields, 
once Marshall's great discovery became known; and in 1848 Mr. 
Williams went over to the Feather River to pick up a fortune in 
nuggets. Charles B. Sterling was sent up to take Williams' 
place on the ranch, and became the second settler of Colusa 
County, although as yet there was only one settlement. He 
stayed for several years at this location, which became well known 
up and down the valley as "Sterling's Eanch." 

Besides the settlement at Sterling's Ranch, there were only 
two other homes established in the county before the gold rush 
began. One of these was located on the east side of the river, 
about opposite where the Packer schoolhouse now stands, and was 
the home of William B. Ide, a man who took a very prominent 
part in the affairs of his time. He was one of the leaders of the 
Bear Flag army. Upon the organization of Colusa County, be 
was selected as one of the judges of the courts, and abandoned 


his home ou the east side. The other settlement was where Syca- 
more is now located, and was the home of a man named Watt 
Anderson, whom Will S. Green describes as one who "had been 
all of his life a pioneer ; and while he liked neighbors, he said he 
did not like to be crowded, and when settlers got within five or 
six miles of him he left for the mountains of Mendocino County." 
Thus, if we have an idea of Colusa County in its primitive 
state, it is not hard to form a mental picture of the country as the 
first of the forty-niners saw it : one lone habitation a mile and a 
half below Princeton, on what is now the W. A. Yerxa place; 
another across the river, and two or three miles below this first 
one; and a third-where the village of Sycamore now stands. The 
rest of the county had much the same aspect as before Columbus 
discovered America, except that a few hundred cattle and horses 
were roaming the plains and mingling with the many herds of 
deer that fed on the rich grasses. And this would probably be 
the best place to diverge and give a brief description of the 
geography, the flora and fauna, the natives, and the general 
appearance of the county as the white men found it. 


Geography, and Flora and Fauna 


Something has already been said of the location and bound- 
aries of Colusa County, but something further should be said 
of the topography of the county. The Sacramento Valley might 
be represented by taking a piece of cloth, tacking it to two 
parallel pieces of wood, allowing it to sag slightly between them, 
and then placing a crooked wire under the middle of the sagging 
cloth and raising it slightly. The cloth represents the floor of 
the Sacramento Valley ; the pieces of wood, the mountain ranges 
on either side of the valley; and the crooked wire, the river, 
which comes clown the middle of the valley ou a ridge which it 
has built for itself out of the sediment that it brings along with 
it from further up in its course. This ridge, on the crest of 
which the river runs, forms a broad, shallow depression, or 
"trough," on each side of it. The surface of Colusa Coimty, 
then, roughly speaking, is a shallow trough, with its western side 
tipped up very high and resting on the top of the Coast Eange 
Mountains, and its eastern side formed by the low ridge of the 


river, with a small piece extending- across the river and sloping- 
down to Butte Creek. The lowest part of this great trough lies 
about four miles west of the river, and is localh' known as the 
' ' Trough. ' ' Into the Trough all the foothill and mountain streams 
of the county pour their waters, for be it known that south of 
Stony Creek no stream from the west side finds its way into 
the Sacramento Eiver— not even Cache Creek, the outlet of the 
great Clear Lake of Lake County. The waters of all of them 
are lost, in summer time, in the great plains they must cross; and 
in winter time they flow to the lowest land, which is the Trough. 
The overflow of the river also goes into the Trough, with the 
result that in a wet winter there is a great deal more water to be 
seen in the Trough than in the river. 

I do not mean to say that the surface of the county is as 
regular as a piece of cloth hung between two sticks. It is far 
from that. About half of it is foothill and mountain country, in 
places fextremely rough and rugged. The other half lies in the 
floor of the valley; but its surface is cut by low ridges putting 
out from the foothills with each stream, these smaller streams 
building for themselves ridges upon which to run, just as the 
river does. But the slope from the Trough to the foothills is so 
gradual, and the ridges of the small streams are so far apart 
and so low (probably fifteen to twenty feet high at the highest), 
that the general appearance of the valley part of the county is 
that of a great plain. The average distance from the river to 
the foothills, which is also the width of this plain, is about twenty 
miles. But the term "plains" is generally applied only to that 
part of it lying west of the Trough. 

At its western edge this great plain runs into a range of 
hills or low mountains, the advance guard of the Coast Eauge. 
Back of these hills are a number of small valleys drained by the 
small creeks mentioned above; and then come the mountains 
proper, upon which the western boundary of the county rests. 

Colusa County is seventy-eight miles north of San Francisco, 
and twenty-four miles north of Sacramento. The thirty-ninth 
parallel, north latitude, and the one hundred and twenty-second 
meridian, west longitude, pass through the county. The Mount 
Diablo meridian also passes through it, near the eastern border. 
The distance from the western border of the county to the Pacific 
Ocean, in a straight line, is fifty-four miles; and the distance 
from the eastern border to the base of the Sierra Nevada Moun- 
tains is about thirty miles. So much for the location of the 



How the couutry looked when the white man first came 
depended very much upon the season of the year. If he came 
in winter, after a wet spell, he may well have concluded that the 
Sacramento Valley was a vast inland sea, for he might have 
traveled for miles in any direction in a boat. Indeed, some of 
the early explorers did traverse a good deal of the county's sur- 
face by boat. In those daj^s, it must be remembered, there were 
no levees, and it did not take much of a flood to send the waters 
of the river out over the adjacent land. If the early explorer 
came in the late summer time, he would have been justified in 
concluding that moisture never touched a large part of this 
fruitful county; for one old pioneer testifies that he traveled 
from near the river to the foothills without seeing "a spear of 
vegetation." He says the north winds had blown the plains as 
dry and bare as Sahara Desert, and it was not till he struck the 
protecting projections of the foothills that he found grasses and 
other herbage. His experience seems to have been an extreme 
one, yet there is no doubt that this territory must have looked 
rather forbidding to those who saw it at such a time. The 
plains still get rather hot and dry by the latter part of August, 
although conditions have greatly improved since 1843. It was 
the travelers who landed in the spring or early summer who 
saw the country at its best. Then it looked like a perfect' para- 
dise. Wild grasses, especially wild oats and burr clover, were so 
thick and tall that an antelope fawn could hide in them, so that 
it couldn't be found. A man riding on horseback could tie the 
tops of the oats over his horse's withers, and in many places the 
early adventurers found difficulty in forcing their saddle horses 
through the heavy growth. 

Along the river there was a strip of timber about a mile 
wide, and in some spots the trees were so interlaced with wild 
grape-vines and other vines as to form an almost impenetrable 
jungle. On the higher lands were oak trees, while on the lower, 
wetter lands there were willows, and some sycamores and others. 
The overflowed, swampy lands were covered with a rank growth 
of "tule," a species of huge bulrush about as thick as a man's 
finger, and sometimes eight or ten feet high. These "tule lands" 
were often hundreds of acres in extent, but much of their area 
is now drained and farmed. They have been, in their time, a 
paradise for duck-hunters. 

The foothill country in the western part of the county was 
covered, more or less densely, with a growth of scrub oak, 


cbamisal aud manzanita ; and iu the extreme southern part of the 
county this growth extended well down toward the Trough, the 
oak trees in this section attaining such size as to make the land 
very valuable to the early settlers for the wood it supplied. The 
extreme western edge of the count}', which lies near the summit 
of the mountains, was, and still is, covered with a magnificent 
growth of pine, which to the present date has escaped the lum- 
berman because of its inaccessibility. 

EverjTvhere, especially in the spring and early summer, 
there was a profusion of wild flowers. Great patches of color — 
blue, purple, white, yellow — often acres in extent, were set in the 
green carpet of the valley. The most famous of these blossoms, 
possibly the only really famous one, is, of course, the California 
poppy, which makes the fields gay in some sections of the county. 
But there are other varieties that make almost as brilliant a 
showing in their season. 

I do not mean to say that the early explorers and settlers 
found this verdant "carpet," of which I have spoken, entirely 
unbroken. The fact is, that there were many holes in it — spots 
where a superabundance of alkali or an excess of moisture hin- 
dered or entirely prevented vegetable growth. Other areas pro- 
duced only a sparse growth of small weeds ; and these areas later 
came to be known as "goose lands." Most of these barren spots 
occurred in the vicinity of the Trough, nearly all of the river, 
l^lain and foothill land being extremely fertile and productive, 
and covered with an abundant wild vegetable growth. 

The Wild Ani)nals of the County 

Colusa County, in common with the rest of California, was 
abundantly stocked with wild animals, both carnivorous and her- 
bivorous, when the wliite man came. There was no lack of game ; 
and it was well for the newcomers that it was so, for oftentimes 
game was the only food obtainable. And here again the white 
man did what he has so often done in other times, and other 
places, and other circumstances: he acted like an irresponsible, 
thoughtless, viciously spoiled child; and instead of conserving 
this beneficent gift of nature, he hastened with all speed to destroy 
it and put an end to it. Undoubtedly not all of the pioneers were 
offenders in this respect, but many of them seemed to be unable 
to resist the temptation to take a shot at any wild thing that 
crossed their path, with the result that thousands of game animals 
were slaughtered for the mere fun of killing. Even so sane and 
well-balanced a man as John Bidwell confesses that he chased 
a grizzly bear till it plunged into the river and swam across, 


and then shot it as it elaml^ered up the opposite l:)auk. leaving 
the huge cai'cass. and liide to be eaten by coyotes or to rot in 
the tangle of undergrowth. General Bidwell, apparently feeling 
that he had done the only logical thing, thus naively describes 
the incident: "I shot, and the blood flew out of his nostrils two 
or three feet high, when he bounded off a hundred yards and 
fell dead. These scenes were a common occurrence; in fact, 
almost of hourly occurrence." These "common occurrences" 
had their inevitalile effect. In less than ten years after the first 
white man set foot within the borders of the county, the chief 
game animals had almost entirely disappeared. Antelope, which 
at first were almost as common as cattle are today, and almost 
as tame, could not be found; elk had vanished completely; and 
deer had retreated to the brushy fastnesses of foothill and moun- 
tain. There is probably not a person in the county today who 
ever saw an elk or an ant.elope here, so quick and complete was 
the white man's slaughter. I trust that the race may rapidly 
advance to a point where even the ordinary reader may find it 
hard to believe the story of his ancestors' treatment of the Indians 
and animals they found here — so foolish was it in its short-sighted 

Of the carnivorous animals, the grizzly bear was the most 
important and among the most plentiful. The reason for his 
numbers is easy to see. No other animal could match him in 
fighting power; the Indians did not have weapons or courage to 
vanquish him; and therefore, when he wanted to shufiie off this 
mortal coil he had to die a natural death or commit suicide. He 
seems to have been averse to the suicide route; so he "lived till 
he died." General Bidwell says, "The grizzly bear was an hourly 
sight. In the vicinity of streams it was not imcommon to see 
thirty or forty in a day. ... In the spring of the year the 
bears chiefly lived on clover, which grew luxuriantly on the plains, 
especially in the little depressions on the plains. "VVe first saw 
one, which made for the timber two or three miles away; soon 
another, then more, all liounding away to the creek. At one time 
there were sixteen in the drove." Of course, the settlers had 
some excuse for annihilating the bears; for they were a menace 
to young stock, and would turn on a man if closely cornered. So 
the grizzly quickly disappeared from the open, accessible jjarts 
of the valley. He had found his match at last. A few remained 
in the thick brush and timber along the river for a few years, 
but today the grizzly has lieen banished from even the deepest 
mountain fastnesses. 


Black bears also abounded iu the timber along the river, f^ud 
there were a few in the mountains. Those along the I'iver 
•fiuickly succumbed; and the mountain l)ears have been compelled 
to follow suit, although more slowly. It is doubtful whether there 
is now a bear within the limits of the county. 

The mountain lion has never been so plentiful as the numer- 
ous stories of his cunning and ferocity might lead one to think. 
A very few have been killed in the mountains in the extreme 
western part of the county, but the great majority of the settlers 
never came 'in contact with a mountain lion. 

The smaller, short-tailed wildcats were also rare; but one 
has been found occasionally. They are shy and hard to get sight 
of, and it may be that a few of the tribe still make their home 
in the brushy canyons of the western mountains. 

The coyote was, and still is, the most common and the most 
annoying of the predatory animals. In the early days of the 
county the coyote was wideh' distributed, not only infesting the 
broken hill sections, but also being very numerous on the plains 
and along the river. He was never dangerous to human life, 
but was a constant pest, sneaking into camps and stealing sup- 
plies, and working havoc among the calves, lambs, pigs . and 
poultry of the settlers. He was bold and impudent in those early 
days, before he had come to know the white man thoroughly; 
and the stories of his escapades are almost unbelievable. It is 
said that he would come into camp and steal meat from under 
a man's pillow at night. Naturally the white man resented such 
familiarities, and made life hard for Bi'e'r Coyote. Today he 
exists in the foothills, only by the exercise of a cunning and fieet- 
ness that seem positively uncanny. The ordinary traveler never 
sees one; and to the practiced eye he appears merely as a gray 
shadow disappearing around a hillside, or into a ravine or thicket 
of brush, at a great distance. The hunter or trapper who can 
catch a coyote is entitled to the credit of being a clever person. 
A liberal bounty paid by the county supervisors for coyote scalps 
stiumlates pursuit of them, but as j^et they seem to be in no 
danger of extinction. No man who admires pluck and persever- 
ance in the face of odds can fail to feel like taking otf his hat 
to the coyote. 

Eaccoons and foxes were also here before the days of gold; 
and they are here yet, as they probably are everywhere in the 
United States. They are not plentiful because they both steal 
chickens; and, furthermore, there is a bounty on foxes, so their 
numbers are kept down by hunters. Another jiredatory pest is 


the skiiuk, but Lis depredations have never been serious enough 
to be ^vorth mentioning. 

Mention has ah-eady been made of the game animals of the 
county and the rapidity with which they disappeared after the 
white man came. The largest of these was the elk, which, 
although fairly plentiful in the beginning, was the first to suc- 
cumb to the white man's onslaughts. He was too easy a mark to 
last long; and by 1853, or four years after the gold rush began, 
he was a matter of history. Will S. Green says, "They were 
mercilessly killed by hunters, killed not for their flesh, but for 
the fun of the killing." 

The antelope also furnished an easy mark for the hunter ; and 
although the first comers found thousands of them in the county, 
they were exterminated almost as soon as the elk. It wasn't 
much more of a job to shoot one of them than it would be to go 
out and shoot a cow nowadays. Will S. Green says, "When we 
kept the hotel in 1850-1851, we had a contract with a man by 
the name of Sneath to furnish one antelope a day for his board. 
He would go out and shoot down two, give one to an Indian for 
bringing the other in, and come home. He was hardly ever gone 
over an hour." Thus it can be seen that the great bands of ante- 
lope that roamed over the Sacramento Valley would have been 
a most valuable food asset to the settlers for many years if they 
had been protected and conserved ; but no such thought seems to 
have entered the minds of the early comers here. The truth is, 
they were too busy with other things — things, to them, far more 
important. And so, although they sometimes caught and tamed 
an antelope fawn, and found it an exceedingly docile and gentle 
pet, they never withheld the rifle when there was an antelope 
in sight. To say that there were no individual exceptions to this 
rule would be erroneous ; but it was a rule so faithfully followed 
that the Sacramento Valley antelope melted away like a Sacra- 
mento Valley snow, and were gone. 

Deer were plentiful in the county in early days ; and though 
they have been driven to the rougher parts of the mountains, they 
still survive. Moreover, because of increasingly stringent game 
laws and more watchful enforcement of them by state game 
wardens, the deer bid fair to survive indefinitely. As they are 
the only- big game left in any numbers, sportsmen all over the 
state have united in having them protected. At present about 
a hundred of them are killed in the mountains in the western 
part of the county each season. The season has been shortened 
to about two months in the late summer and early fall, and only 
bucks older than yearlings or "spikes" can be killed. Each 


liunter is limited to two deer a season. Under these restrictions 
the deer have increased rather than diminished in numbers during 
the past few years. 

The natural game animal for boy-hunters in this county, 
as in other parts of the United States, is the rabbit. Cottontails 
are plentiful in the brush along the river and the sloughs, and 
by most people are said to be "better than chicken." Oftentimes, 
when the low lands are covered by a flood, men and boys go along 
the levees or row to knolls of high land, or even bunches of 
willows and other brush, and catch as many cottontails as they 
can carry. Quails are very easily shot under these circumstances, 
too. The jack-rabbit, a larger, skinnier, longer-legged species of 
the genus, is more widely distributed than the cottontail, and is 
in less danger of extinction because he is not so highly prized 
for food. He is considered a pest rather than a game animal, 
especially by orchardists and gardeners, for he eats young trees, 
vines and vegetable growth of every kind. In the days of the 
Indians, jack-rabbits were present in droves, but the activities 
of farmers and horticulturists have greatly reduced their num- 
bers. However, there are still enough of them left for all prac- 
tical purposes, in the opinion of those who raise young plants. 

Of the rodents, aside from rats and mice, ground-squirrels 
and gophers are the only common ones. Both live in the ground, 
and both are pests. Gophers are probably as common as they 
were in the beginning; but the numbers of ground-squirrels have 
been greatly decreased by persistent slaughter, chiefly by poison- 
ing. The cooperation of state and county authorities in furnish- 
ing poisoned grain and instructions for its use has helped in the 
campaign against the squirrels. A few years ago local scientists 
discovered that ground-squirrels were carriers of bubonic plague, 
and this discovery gave a great impetus to the war against them. 

In closing this chapter, let me mention briefly the winged 
creatures of the county. The "national bird" of Colusa County 
is undoubtedly the wild goose. In the early days literally millions 
of these birds covered the lowlands at certain seasons of the 
year ; and in their flight they made the sky dark over large areas. 
The encroachments of farming operations upon their resorts, to- 
gether with constant slaughter (for until recently no game laws 
included the goose in their protection), have made great inroads 
upon their numbers. Market hunters, by soldering two double- 
barreled shotguns together and discharging all four barrels at 
the same time, or nearly the same time, have been known to kill 
one hundred ninety-six geese at one "shot" — if such a bombard- 
ment could be called one shot. But let it not be understood that 



the goose is uearing extinction in Colusa County. In spite of the 
hundreds of thousands of birds that have been killed and shipped 
to the city markets, or otherwise disposed of, geese are yet so 
plentiful as to be a pest to the grain farmers, who must hire 
herders each winter to keep them off the young grain. As late 
as 1906 they were so plentiful as to extend in a broad, unbroken 
ribbon across the sky from one side of the horizon to the other, 
in their flight. Although their numbers are thinning each year, 
it will be many years before persons who like goose- will have 
to go without game, especially since the law now throws some 
protection around them. 

More toothsome and more eagerly sought after than the goose 
is the wild duck, which, although not so numerous as the goose, 
comes here in great number and variety during the fall and win- 
ter seasons. Canvasback, mallard, sprig, teal, widgeon, and others 
are all well represented in the bags brought in from the hunting 
grounds of this county, to which hunters come from all over the 
state and from other states. They are not nearly so plentiful as 
they were a few years ago; but hunters frequently succeed in 
getting twenty-five in one day, the limit allowed by law. Ducks 
are proving a nuisance to the newly established rice industry in 
this county, and the laws protecting them will probably be mod- 
ified within the next few years. At present it can be truthfully 
said that Colusa County is a paradise for goose and duck hunters. 
The dove and the quail rank next in importance to the goose 
and the duck as game birds, in Colusa County. Quails, which 
were quite plentiful in the early days, are found in limited num- 
bers in the brush along the river and the sloughs, and among the 
foothills. Civilization has been hard on them, and they are des- 
tined to become still scarcer as time goes on, in spite of the 
protective legislation they have enjoyed for years. The dove 
tribe seems to be more hardy in the face of its enemies, and these 
swift -fljdng birds are widely and thickly distribiited over plain and 
foothill country. Legal protection has helped them greatly, and 
they seem to be diminishing little, if any, in numbers. 

Bird life was particularly abundant in the Sacramento Valley 
when the white man came, and most of the species have survived. 
Among the birds that the early settlers found here, and that yet 
may be found here, are the swan, the crane, the mud hen and a 
few other water birds, the turkey buzzard, the blackbird, the 
meadow lark, several kinds of hawks, owls, linnets, sparrows and 
woodpeckers, the robin, the lilue jay, the magpie, and the chaparral 
cock, or road runner. 


A list of the "winged creatures" of the county ouglit to iu- 
chide two which, in the early days, were an almost unbearable 
pest, but which, happily, have so decreased in numbers as to 
be of little importance today. These are the yellow jacket and 
the mosquito. In 1850, yellow jackets were as thick along the 
river as flies are today, and no meat or fruit could be left out- 
doors unprotected without being quickly eaten by these voracious 
insects. Mosquitoes were unbelievably fierce and troublesome in 
the brush along the river. James Yates, who came to Colusa in 
1850, before there was a house in the town, used to tell of his 
experience with mosquitoes when he was hauling wood at the 
Seven-Mile House, above Colusa. He said it was absolutely im- 
possible to bring the horses to the river, even to water them, 
because of the fierce attacks of the mosquitoes. So he had to 
leave his team outside the timber line, two miles back from the 
river, and carry water to them. This he accomplished by tilling 
two buckets with water, running with them as long as he could 
stand the mosquitoes, and then setting them down and fighting 
off the bloodthirsty insects. This operation was repeated till 
the horses were reached, beyond the brush and timber line. 
Today one gives scarcely a thought to mosquitoes, although some 
still exist. The introduction of rice-growing, however, may again 
bring a mosquito problem. 


The Indians 

There is little in the history of the Indians of this county, 
and the record of their experiences with the whites, to give either 
the writer or the reader cause for pride. Indeed, the contact of 
the two races is so marked by thoughtlessness and callousness 
at the best, and by injustice and cruelty at the worst, that it 
makes a rather sordid tale. The quotation from General Bid- 
well's story of the early explorations of the county, given in an 
earlier cha])ter of this work, serves to show how the Indians 
were regarded, and consequently treated, by many of the white 
men. Little further along that line need be said, for it is now 
too late to make any fit reparation or restitution, the Indians of 
the county being reduced to fewer than one hundred in number. 
Of course not all the white men were unjust or cruel in their 
treatment of the Indians. On the contrary, many of them were 
the consistent benefactors of their guileless red brethren. But 


there are in every commuuity a certain number of men with little 
or no regard for the rights of others; and as this condition was 
greatly aggravated in the unorganized communities of the early 
days, the Indian suffered correspondingly. Possibly one should 
not blame those whose natures led them to prey upon weaker 
fellow men, any more than one should blame a hog for being a 
hog; but it seems to me that the United States government is 
extremely blameworthy for its failure to meet the problem that 
the Indians presented. 

Nobody knows how many Indians there were in this county 
when the white man came. Nobody ever did know — any more 
than we of today know how many ground-squirrels or jack-rabbits 
there are in the count}- — for nobody had time or sufficient interest 
in the matter to count the Indians, even if they had been rounded 
up and had stood still long enough to be counted. General Bid- 
well says there must have been ten thousand in the county when 
he first saw it ; but that estimate includes what is now Glenn 
Count}', and part of Tehama County. General Green says there 
were about a thousand of the Colus Indians, as nearly as he could 
estimate the number. These estimates of two of the most intelli- 
gent observers of the time are all the information available on 
the subject. About 1832 or 1833 an epidemic, probably of small- 
pox, swept over the valley, greatly reducing the numbers of the 
Indians, so that the first explorers and settlers of Colusa County 
undoubtedly found the population of the Indian villages at a low 
ebb. It is entirely possible that before the epidemic Colusa 
County contained more people than it does today. 

"When the white man came, he found Indian villages every 
few miles along the river. Some of them were hardly pretentious 
enough to be called villages, but they seemed to be more or less 
independent settlements, or even to belong to different tribes. 
There were about a dozen of these groups or settlements between 
Princeton and Sycamore, and several more between Sycamore and 
the southern boundary of the county. All the groups between 
Sycamore and Princeton belonged to a tribe that called themselves 
the Corn Indians. The natives pronounced the name more as 
a German than as an American would pronounce it, giving the 
"r" a rolling sound; and the whites, finding the name hard to 
get as the Indians gave it, corrupted it into "Coin," a corrup- 
tion which the Indians seem to have adopted along with many 
other customs and practices of the white man. 

The chief village of the Colus Indians was located about 
where the Municipal AVater Works of Colusa now stands. It had 
apparently been quite a populous center, containing the residence 


of the chief and the seat of goverument for the entire tribe; but 
the epidemic of 1832, above referred to, had evidently made it 
an undesirable place to live, and when the first white men came 
they found that the chief, Sioc, had taken his lares and penates, 
his people, and all his earthly possessions across the river and 
established a new capital there. There were no Indian villages 
on the plains, because of the lack of water, and probably also 
because of the lack of shelter. To the west, the nearest neigh- 
bors the river Indians had were located in the foothills, the 
chief tribe of these living along Cortina Creek, near its entrance 
into the valley. There were numerous settlements along Bear 
Creek, Stony Creek, and the other streams of the mountains and 
foothills. General Bidwell found that in 1844, which was a very 
dry year, the foothill Indians had all migrated to the valley of 
Stony Creek, thousands of them having temporary habitations 
along that stream. The river and foothill Indians had, by tacit 
consent, divided the plains between them, so that the former 
never foraged west of a line about where the railroad now runs, 
and the latter never came east of that line, without permission 
of the other. Sometimes the hill tribes asked for and obtained 
leave to forage in the territory of the river Indians, and vice 
versa. A reciprocal agreement like this was often very necessary, 
owing to the failure of the food supply in a particular section 
of the country. 

A third division of the tribes was found ))ack in the high 
mountains, among the timber. They were not very numerous, 
and are now gone — without leaving a trace of their former 

In appearance, the Colusa Indians were not exactly, true to 
type as laid down in the story l>ooks. Instead of being tall, 
sinewy, alert and active, as were the Indians that Daniel Boone 
tracked and slew, these aborigines were indolent, quiet, peace- 
able, and inclined to be fat. In size they ranked about with 
the white men. They had the true Indian hue of dark-brown 
copper; coarse, black hair in abundance; and small, beady black 
eyes. Their dress will not take long to describe. For the men 
it was absolutely nothing, save perhaps an antelope skin thrown 
over their shoulders when the weather was particularly cold. The 
women's garb consisted of a bunch of tule or wild hemp sus- 
pended from a cord around the waist, and hanging down in front 
to the knees or thereabouts. This garment was called a tunica; 
and it was not worn by very small girls. But although they had 
very few clothes, they had imbedded within them a great love 
for dress and ornament. As soon as the whites came, and they 


had oi)poituiiity to obtain colored beads, cloth aud ornaments, 
they were not slow to decorate themselves in what they con- 
sidered the most beautiful style. Before the advent of the white 
man, shells, feathers, carved bones and strings of bright-colored 
berries served as ornaments, and, with the exception of the 
tunicas of the squaws, as the entire wardrobe of the people. 
The California Indians did not use paints to make their faces 
hideous, as did the Indians of the Eastern States, nor did their 
chiefs go to the elaborate lengths of decoration of their hair with 
feathers, furs and other things, that characterized the chiefs of 
the Atlantic Coast. In fact, they seem to have had no "war togs,'* 
although they sometimes went to war. But war was not their 
principal business, as it was that of the Eastern Indians, and 
California Indians are never referred to as "warriors" or 
"braves." Their chief end in life was, not war and conquest, 
but a lazy enjoyment of the advantages of climate and other con- 
ditions of life among which fate had cast them. 

Their dwellings and other structures were of the most ephem- 
eral character. As they had to keep constantly moving about to 
follow the food supjily, they found it, of course, inconvenient to 
have 23ermaneut dwellings. So in summer they lived in camps; 
in the spring, near the berry and clover patches; in the fishing 
season, under the trees along the river; and in acorn time, in 
the oak groves, their only shelter being brush or a few vines 
gathered together, under which to crawl when they slept. But 
in winter, or the wet season, they retired to their permanent 
villages, where they constructed houses of a somewhat more sub- 
stantial nature. These were made by setting poles fifteen or 
twenty feet long in the ground in a circle, and then bending the 
tops together and fastening them to make a framework, which 
was covered with brush, sticks, leaves and, finally, dirt. An 
opening was left at one side for a door, and a hole at the top 
allowed the smoke to pass out. Those who have been in them 
say that; with a fire burning in the center of them, these houses 
were too warm rather than too cold. Besides the dwellings, 
the only building of the village was the sweat-house, which 
was similar in structure to the residences, only larger. 

Elevated bedsteads or bunks, even of the crudest character, 
were not attempted, the entire family sleeping on tules or grass 
laid on the ground. They did not even have piles of skins, as 
the Eastern Indians did, l)ecause such things were not necessary 
in California. 

In the matter of food, the Indians could and did get about the 
same kinds and variety as the bears did. Indeed, the bear and 


the Indian were very much alike in their food habits. Fish was 
the great food staple, of the river Indians at least; and salmon 
was the standard fish. The explorer who passed up the valley 
in 1832, before the great epidemic, relates that the huts of the 
Indians were red with drying salmon. In the spring of the year, 
when the salmon were running up the river, and again in the 
fall, when they were going down, the Indians lived on the river 
banks and caught immense numbers of them, which they dried 
for use throughout the year. The salmon were caught by a weir 
l)uilt across the river when the water was low. This weir was 
made of poles driven into the sand at the bottom of the river 
and interlaced witli willow withes. This made a sort of rough 
netting, through' which the larger fish could not go. One of the 
most complete and successful of these weirs was located near 
where the Municipal Water Works now stands, and for that 
reason the site of the future county seat was long known as 
Salmon Bend. 

Next to salmon in importance, and heading the list of vege- 
table foods, was the acorn. This took the place, with the Indian, 
of all of our cereals. In the fall of the year the squaws gathered 
liushels of acorns in wicker-work baskets, and stored them on 
high rocks or in trees, covering them over with thatches of tules 
and grass to keep them safe for future use. The acorns were 
shelled, and in a stone mortar were ground into a coarse flour, 
which was taken to the river bank and spread out in a shallow 
basin made in the sand. Water was then allowed to percolate 
through it, and this washed the bitterness out of the flour, which 
was then carefully taken up and made into a mush or gruel that 
is said to have been quite palatable. When the acorn crop failed 
in one section of the country, long pilgrimages were made to 
other sections to gather the nuts. Permission thus to engage 
in foreign commerce had to be obtained from some other tribe, 
either by diplomacy or by war. 

Acorns and fish, although the staples of the Indians' diet, 
did not by any means exhaust the list. Game of all kinds — 
sometimes caught in most ingenious ways — wild oats, berries, 
the tender shoots of clover and other early spring plants, succu- 
lent roots, and even worms and grasshoi^pers, were used to add 
variety to their fare. The oat crop, which was generally boun- 
tiful in the Sacramento Valley, was gathered by swinging baskets 
against the tops of the oats, thus causing some of the grains to 
fall into the baskets. The method of harvesting was not partic- 
ularly economical of grain, but it can be said that the Indian 
got a good return for the money he had invested in the crop. 


Grasshoppers and grubs were cooked by building a fire in a hole 
in the ground, letting it burn down to a bed of coals, scraping 
out the coals and putting the food in and covering it up for a 
few minutes, when it came out crisp, brown and delicious. 

At its best, the life of the Indians was an alternate feasting 
and fasting, for he made absolutely no effort to cultivate any 
plant or domesticate any animal. When a deer, elk, antelope 
or other large animal fell into the clutches of a village, there 
was a period of intemperate gorging, followed possibly by a long- 
period of slim fare; and when the acorn or salmon supply for 
any reason failed, there was destitution, and sometimes actual 
starvation, in the tribe. Hundreds of years of experience with 
such conditions, however, failed to impress their lesson; and 
the white man found the Indians, as I have said above, little 
more provident than the bears. 

Each Indian tribe was governed by a chief, whose authority 
was absolutely supreme. The chief had the power of life and 
death over his subjects; and as there was no appeal from his 
edicts, his subjects were thoroughly, if not wisely, governed. 
But in the case of the Coins Indians, at least, the government 
was remarkably wise and just; for their chief, Sioc, was a man 
of more than ordinary capability. Sioc was over six feet tall, 
and as straight as the spear he carried; and he dressed exactly 
as nature garbed him. He was kind and just, both to his own 
people and to the white man, whose coming, with the consequent 
degeneration of his people, added such a burden to his life that 
he died two years after Colusa was founded. 

The Indian community was organized much as all savage 
communities are. The women did the work. It was the squaws 
who collected the oats, gathered the acorns, cured the fish, cooked 
the meals, and, when moving, carried the baggage. Sometimes 
the bucks took a hand at catching fish or trapping game, but 
ordinarily they lay around and ate. When a young man took 
a wife, the chief qualification he required of her was that she 
be able to keep him supplied with plenty of food. It can be said 
in their favor that each man had only one wife, and stuck to 
her as long as she was willing and able to keep him supplied 
with food; but just what was entailed in their marriage vows 
is hard to determine. The bride was bought from her parents 
with offerings of shells, food or anything else of value, much 
as an American business man buys a European "noble" for his 
daughter; and any breach of fealty to her husband by the bride 
was severely punished, even with death. There is no record of 
such severity toward the husband; and indeed it does not seem 


to have been necessary, for there was apparently little tendency 
for husbands to roam, matrimonially. Young folks, when thrown 
together, were not apt to remain continent; much self-restraint 
could hardly be expected of them. But fear of the chief and the 
inexorable rules laid down for their guidance kept the women 
remarkably chaste. They marriecl young, and the hardships they 
endured in providing for their families soon aged them, so that 
the squaws were not usually attractive in appearance. Occa- 
sionally one of them lived to a great age, but the average life 
of the Indian was not great. He was like the rabbit; there 
were too many things against him. 

Religious belief was but feebly developed among the Indians 
of this county; and consequently religious ceremonies were few. 
They apparently believed in a hereafter; for they buried the 
weapons and other personal belongings of the dead in the grave 
with the body, in order that these things might be on hand for 
use in the future life. An evil spirit to be propitiated was the 
central theme of their religion, rather than a good spirit to be 
pleased or served. As they would not eat the flesh of the grizzly 
bear because they believed it had once been a person, they must 
have believed in a sort of transmigration of souls. Just how far 
they had developed this belief no one seems to have taken the 
trouble to find out, if, indeed, it could have been found out. One 
thing, however, is certain, and that is that religion and religious 
ceremonies played no great part in the lives of the Colusa In- 
dians. They lived along, in an indolent, dreamy animal life, with 
no regrets for the past, little hope or fear for the futiire, and 
no great concern for the present. Their regard for the grizzly 
was not so much a feeling of reverence or worship as it was a 
wholesome fear of his physical prowess; and all of their super- 
stitions were of this childishly primitive Sort, hardly rising to 
the dignity of a religion. 

Sickness was, as with all savages, attributed to the evil 
machinations of some enemy, and was, of course, eured by in- 
cantations principally, although at times the sweat-house and 
bleeding played some part in the cure. The sweat-house was 
like the dwellings, only larger, and was the center of the cere- 
monial life of the village. In taking the sweat-cure, the sweat- 
house was filled with Indians, and a fire was kept going in it till it 
was baking hot and the inmates were streaming with perspiration, 
when they would rush out and plunge into the river till they 
cooled off, after which the process was repeated. This treatment, 
while possibly beneficial in some diseases, was sure death in 
others; but the Indians did not seem to be able to differentiate 


between one disease and another, and so hundreds of them per- 
ished every time an epidemic came along. 

When an Indian died, a doleful mourning was kept up for 
a couple of days, especially by the women. The squaws would 
dance around the grave and wail most mournfully. The body 
was prepared for burial by doubling it up, with the head between 
the knees and the ankles up against the thighs, and wrapi^ing it 
tightly in this shape with cords of bark or fiber. A small child 
was always buried alive with its mother if she died, because 
none of the other members of the tribe cared to be burdened 
with providing for it. 

I have mentioned "other structures" of the Indians in addi- 
tion to their houses. These other structures were not many, 
nor very complicated. Besides the sweat-house, already men- 
tioned, and the fish dam across the river, about the only things 
the Colusa Indians made were a rude bridge across the river, 
constructed much like the fish dam; crude rafts of brush and 
tule; bows and arrows and spears, their only weapons; a few 
rough mats of tule; and the wicker baskets for holding food. 
The rafts were used for taking food across the river, although 
any Indian in the tribe, man, woman or child, could swim across 
with almost as much as he could carry on land. They could all 
swim as well, almost, as seals, from childhood up. Their weapons 
were not very effective against large game. When hunger drove 
an Indian to kill a deer, it is said that he would stalk it till he 
had approached within very short range, when he would shoot it 
in the groin and then follow it till the pain caused it to lie down 
to rest. Then he would again sneak up and shoot an arrow into 
it, repeating the maneuver till loss of blood gave him the ])rize. 
This process oftentimes took all day. It is also said that the 
bucks were very ingenious in snaring ducks, geese, and other 
birds, and added much to their larders in this way. 

From the beginning the Indians were tolerant of the white 
man and friendly to him. General Bidwell says that when he 
first came among the Stony Creek Indians, they hastened to 
bring him baskets of food and other presents, till he was entirely 
surrounded with gifts; and at no time was he the object of any 
violence or ill will. The ignorant natives ap]iarently regarded him 
as a kind of god come among them, and tliey treated liim with the 
greatest respect. Their acquaintance with white men did not go 
miicli further, however, till they found tliat the treatment accorded 
them in return was far from godlike. Enough has been said 
in a previous chapter to indicate the attitude the newcomers took 
toward the red men. The great majority of whites regarded the 


Indians as little better than beasts, to be preyed upon at pleasure. 
They paid absolutely no attention to the property rights of the 
guileless savages, and took their land without compunction of 
conscience or even serious thought. They even commandeered the 
services of the men, paying them when and what they chose. 
But worst of all, they dragged the women into a "white slavery" 
which, historians tell us, soon made a race of syphilitics of the 
entire population. Will S. Green says that his friend. Chief Sioc, 
died in 1852 of a broken heart, liecause of the loss of virtue in his 

Nature was often unkind to the Indian, pelting him with 
storms and failing to supply him with food. To the unkindness 
of Nature the Indian added a great burden to himself and his 
race when he destroyed his own children or attempted to cure his 
bodily ills with superstitious ceremonies. The additional handicap 
of the white man's unkindness was more than the race could bear, 
and the red men perished like flies after the white man came. 
In 1880, thirty years after the county was first settled, the ten 
thousand Indians in Colusa County (including what is now Glenn 
County) had dwindled to five hundred, or five per cent, of the 
whole. Nine thousand five hundred of them, or ninety-five per 
cent., had succumbed. Today, sixty-seven years after the settle- 
ment of the county, there are less than one hundred Indians with- 
in its boundaries. The more intelligent Indians saw from the 
beginning that the white man was destined to inherit the land ; but 
they knew no way to stop it, and submitted stoically. There was 
no Indian war in Colusa County worthy the name. On two or 
three occasions, after Indians had committed minor depredations, 
bands of white men went after them and killed a few of them, a 
procedure which the victims apparently took as a matter of 
course. These disturbances invariably took place in the moun- 
tains or hills, no conflict of any kind with the river Indians being 
recorded after the brutal and unjust punishment inflicted upon 
them b}' General Sutter in 1843. 

Captain Hukely was the successor, and a worthy one, of Sioc 
as chief of the Coins Indians. He was a man of the highest 
character and standing, not only among his own people, but also 
among the settlers. It was said of- him that his "credit was good 
at any store in the county. ' ' He died on December 2, 1877, after 
having ruled over his fast-dwindling tribe for twenty-five years. 

The more just and considerate settlers realized from the 
beginning that the Indians were not getting a square deal; and 
the United States had no sooner got control of the country than 
steps were taken to give the red man his dues, in part at least. 
Intelligent Indian agents were sent out by the government to 


investigate the claims made in belialf of the Indians and arrange 
that justice he done them. The result was that the following 
treaty was drawn up with the Colusa Indians, which, accom- 
panied by strong recommendations from the United States Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs and the Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs for California that the treaty be ratified, was sent to 
President Millard Fillmore, who transmitted it to the United 
States Senate for ratification: 

A treaty of peace and friendship made and concluded at Camp 
Coins, on the Sacramento Eiver, California, between the 
United States Indian Agent, 0. M. Wozencraft, of one part, 
and the chiefs, captains and head men of the following tribes 
or bands, \dz. : Coins, Willays, Co-ha-na, Tat-nah, Cha, Doc- 
Duc, Cham-net-co, Toc-de. 

Article 1. The several tribes or bands above mentioned do 
acknowledge the United States to be the sole and absolute sover- 
eign of all the soil and territory ceded to them by a treaty of 
peace made between them and the republic of Mexico. 

Article 2. The said tribes or bands acknowledge themselves, 
jointly and severally, under the exclusive jurisdiction, authority 
and protection of the United States, and hereby bind themselves 
hereafter to refrain from the commission of all acts of hostility 
and aggression towards the government or citizens thereof, and to 
live on terms of peace and friendship among themselves, and all 
other Indians which are now or may come under the protection 
of the United States. 

Article 3. To promote the settlement and improvement of 
said tribes or bands, it is hereby stipulated and agreed that the 
following district of country in the State of California shall be 
and is hereby set apart forever, for the use and occupancy of the 
aforesaid tribes or bands, to-wit : Commencing on the east bank 
of the Sacramento River, at a point where the northern line of 
Sutter's claim is said to strike said river, running out in said 
line in an easterly direction three miles ; thence in a southeasterly 
direction fifteen miles to a point within three miles of the Sacra- 
mento River; from said point in a line due west to the Sacra- 
mento River; and from said- point up said river to the point of 
beginning. It is furthermore understood and agreed upon by 
both parties that the tribes or bands of Indians living upon the adja- 
cent Coast Range, on the Sacramento River, from the mouth of 
Stone Creek to the junction of Feather and Sacramento Rivers, and 
on Feather River to the mouth of Yuba River, shall be included in 
the said reservation; and should said bands not come in, then 
the provisions, etc., as set apart in this treaty, to be reduced in a 


ratio commensurate mth the numbers signing the treaty. Pro- 
vided, That there is reserved to the United States government the 
right of way over any portion of said territory, and the right 
to establish and maintain any military post, public building, 
schoolhouse, houses for agents, teachers,' and such others as they 
may deem necessary, for their use in the protection of the Indians. 
The said tribes or bands, and each of them, hereby engage that 
they will never claim any other land within the boundaries of the 
United States, nor ever disturb the people of the United States 
in the free use and enjoyment thereof. 

Article 4. To aid the said trilies or bands in their subsist- 
ence while removing to and making allotments upon the said 
reservation, the United States, in addition to the few presents 
made to them at this council, will furnish them, free of charge, 
with two hundred and tifty (250) head of beef-cattle, to average 
in weight five hundred (500) pounds, seventy-five (75) sacks flour, 
one hundred (100) pounds each, within the term of two years 
from the date of this treaty. 

Article 5. As early as convenient after the ratification of 
this treaty by the President and Senate, in consideration of the 
premises and with a sincere desire to encourage said tribes in 
acquiring the arts and habits of civilized life, the United States 
will also furnish them with the following articles, (to be divided 
among them by the agent according to their respective numbers 
and wants,) during each of the two years succeeding the said 
ratification, viz. : one pair strong pantaloons and one red flannel 
shirt for each man and boy; one linsey gown for each woman and 
girl; one thousand yards calico, and two hundred and fifty yards 
brown sheeting; ten pounds Scotch thread and five hundred 
needles, three dozen thimbles and one dozen pairs of scissors; 
one two and a half point Mackinaw blanket for each man and 
woman over fifteen years of age; five hundred pounds iron and 
fifty pounds steel; and in like manner, in the first year, for the 
permanent use of said tribes, and as their joint property, viz.: 
forty brood mares and three stallions, one himdred and fifty milch 
cows and eight bulls, two yoke of work cattle with yokes and 
chains, five work mules or horses, eleven ploughs assorted sizes, 
fortj'-five garden or corn hoes, thirteen spades, and two grind- 
stones. Of the stock enumerated above, and the product thereof, 
no part or portion shall be killed, exchanged, sold or otherwise 
parted with, without the consent and direction of the agent. 

Article 6. The United States will also supply and settle 
among said tribes, at or near their towns or settlements, one 
practical farmer, who shall superintend all agricultural opera- 
tions, with two assistants, men of practical knowledge and indus- 


trious habits; one carpenter, one wheelwright, one blacksmith, 
one principal school teacher and as many assistant teachers as the 
President may deem proper to instruct said tribes, in reading, 
writing, etc., and in the domestic arts upon the manual labor sys- 
tem; all the above named workmen and teachers to be main- 
tained and paid by the United States for the period of five years, 
and as long thereafter as the President shall deem advisable. The 
United States will also erect suitable schoolhouses, shops and 
dwellings for the acconimodatiou of the schools, teachers and 
mechanics above mentioned, and for the protection of the public 

In testimony whereof, the parties have hereunto signed their 
names and affixed their seals, this ninth day of September, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. 

0. M. Wozencraft, 
United States Indian Agent. 

For and in behalf of the Coins: 

Sci-Oac, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Willays: 

Ho-Oak, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Co-ha-na : 

Louis, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Tat-nah: 

Hoo-Ka-Ta, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Cha : 

La-Look, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Doc-Duc: 

Mi-Ka-La, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Cham-net-co: 

Wi-Te-Bus, his X mark. 
For and in behalf of the Toc-de : 
Co-Ne, his X mark. 
Signed, sealed and delivered, after being fully explained, in 
presence of 

Thomas Wright, Second Lieutenant, 2nd Infantry, 

Couunanding escort. 
C. D. Semple. 

Politics in tlie meantime had gotten in its fine work, and this 
treaty was never ratified. It lay in the secret files of the Senate 
until 1905, when the injunction of secrecy was removed and the 
terms of the treaty were made known. This, however, was after 
all those connectecl with the treaty had been long in their graves. 
The Indians of Colusa waited and watched patiently for the ful- 


fillment of the treaty, and most of them died in the hope that it 
would some day be fulfilled. 

In 1907 the government bought forty acres of laud on the 
west side of the river, four miles north of Colusa, and all the 
river Indians in the county, aliout sixty, were moved there. With 
the aid of private subscriptions they were established in fairly 
comfortable cabins, and a little later the county supervisors made 
an appropriation for a school among them. Rev. and Mrs. F. G. 
Collett, who had been indefatigable in their efforts in behalf of the 
Indians, were the first teachers ; and they have a worthy successor 
in the person of Dr. H. E. Burbauk, who still has a flourishiug 
school at the rancheria. 

The population of the rancheria north of town is at present 
about fifty. They are under the leadership of Captain Thomas 
Odock, a man of fine character. They raise some fruit and vege- 
tables, but most of their living is made by laboring on the neigh- 
boring ranches. The women have not gained any great degree 
of skill in the arts of civilization, especially the caring for their 
children; and the tribe seems destined to disappear utterly. 

Of the other Indians in the county, about thirty-five live on 
Cortina Creek, and eight or ten in the neighborhood of Stonyford. 
These are dying off very rapidh', and in a few years will be gone. 


The Early Settlers 

The day of the gold rush to California dawned with only 
three settlements in what is now called Colusa County, as we 
have seen. The first of these was made by John S. Williams, who 
had settled the Larkin's Children's Grant at what is now the W. A. 
Yerxa place. It is interesting to note that Mr. Williams came 
from Missouri; and that state has continued to hold her pre- 
eminence as a source of population for Colusa County. Mr. 
Williams died in 1849, and never saw the great development which 
the county exijerieuced in the next year or two. His only sou 
moved back to Missouri to live. 

One of the other settlers was William B. Ide, of whom men- 
tion will be made further on. He was a Massachusetts Yankee, 
and was probably the most prominent man in the organization 
of the county. He was stricken with smallpox in December 
of 1852, while holding the office of county treasurer at Monroe- 
ville, and died on the twentieth of that month, leaving a wife 



and nine children. His is one. of the most stirring and eventful 
careers among the pioneers of California — and I am moved here 
to remark that his wife's job was no sinecure, for this daring 
adventurer had accumulated little property, and what money he 
had was stolen from the county safe l)y means of the key taken 
from under the sick man's pillow by the man who nursed him during 
his last illness. The women of those early days could probably 
tell tales of far more interest than anything that will appear in 
this volume, and it is a pity that they have left such meager 
records of their privations and sufferings. 

The third settler, Watt Anderson, who lived where Sycamore 
now is, was a bear-hunter, who boasted that he ate no meat but 
bear meat. He had a wife and family, and apparently preferred 
their society to that of other white people, for he kept well in 
advance of the van of civilization. "When Colusa was laid out, he 
considered the country too crowded, and moved westward into the 
mountains where there was more room. 

Charles B. Sterling, who came up from Monterey to take John 
S. AVilliams' place on the Larkin ranch when Mr. Williams went to 
the mines to dig gold, was a native of Louisiana who had come to 
California as purser on a United States war-ship and was secre- 
tary to Thomas 0. Larkin at this time. He proved to be a capable 
man, and ' ' Sterling's Ranch" become known the length and breadth 
of the Sacramento Valley. Will S. Green tells us of Sterling that 
"in the spring of 1849 he wanted to go over to the mines on 
Feather River, and not liking to bury his money around home 
for fear of being watched, he put several thousand dollars in a 
square gin bottle and carried it with him to the bank of a slough, 
in a direct line from his place to French Crossing on Butte Creek, 
and there buried it, marking the place by a bunch of weeds he 
would know again. He stayed over there longer than he expected, 
and when he came back the weeds had been burned, and he could 
not find the place ; and so that bottle with its treasure lies buried 
there yet." Young man, there is your opportunity to dig for 

All those whose names are mentioned above were pioneers 
in the truest sense of the word. They came to the great, unknown 
West because they loved the wideness and the solitude, and be- 
cause the spirit of adventure was strong within them; and they 
remained here because they saw the possibilities of this county as 
an agricultural community and a place for homes. Most of those 
who came to the county after this period were lured to California 
by the hope of gold in great abundance, had tried their liauds at 
mining and had been disappointed, and then had turned to farm- 


iug or to the other pursuits iu which they had been engaged in 
their Eastern homes. 

In 1849 the great gold riish to CaHforuia began. The next 
year, 1850, the settlement of Colusa County began in earnest. 
That was the year California was admitted as a state and Colusa 
County was authorized by the state legislature, neither of which 
events, however, had any particular influence on the settlement 
of the county. The time had come when these rich lands were to 
be sought after ; and their acquisition by settlers would have taken 
place just when it did, even if the state had not been admitted 
and no county had been formed by the legislature. 

In the year 1847, Eobert Semple was a doctor living in 
Beuicia, Cal., to which place he had come from Kentucky. That 
year he took his horseback trip up the Sacramento A'alley, and was 
so greatly impressed with the beauty and fertility of the lands about 
the Colus Indian village that he made a note of the matter and 
kept it for future reference. When, in 1849, his brother. Col. 
Charles D. Semple, came out from Kentucky to look for a location 
in California, the doctor told him of the Sacramento Valley loca- 
tion and advised him to try to obtain some of the land and settle 
it. Colonel Semple took his brother's advice; and that was the 
first step in the founding of the town of Colusa, which was the 
first town in Colusa County as at present bounded. 

Colonel Semple found that John Bidwell, who had also been 
impressed with this wonderfully fertile land, had obtained a grant 
of two scjuare leagues of land surrounding the Colus Indian viL 
lage, just where the colonel wanted to settle. He bought the grant 
from Bidwell, and in the spring of 1850 came up the valley to 
locate his new town, which was to be placed on the site of the old 
Indian village at "Salmon Bend." But he missed the place and 
went instead to where Powell Slough puts out from the river, 
seven miles above Colusa, and later the location of the old Seven- 
Mile House. He had mistaken a temporary Indian camp for the 
place he was looking for, and did not discover his mistake till he 
had laid out a town there and established a camp of men, who 
were set to clearing off the land round about, and cutting cord- 
wood for the steamship line that was soon to be established. 

In the meantime Dr. Semple, at Benieia, had been laying the 
foundations for this same steamship line. He had been building a 
steamer, which was finished in June and was named the "Colusa" 
in honor of the town between which and the outside world she was 
to ply. About the first of July, 1850, she started on her first and 
last trip up the river, having on board Will S. Green, then a youth 
of eighteen, a stock of goods which Green and Colonel Semple 


owned in partnership, and enougli Inmlier to Imild a store to house 
the goods. The Colnsa made good progress till it struck the bend 
just above the town's present location, when rapids, snags and 
short turns in the river so harassed the little boat that one of 
the engines gave out, and it took several days to make the remain- 
ing seven miles to her destination. 

The cargo of the Itoat had hardly been unloaded and she had 
]3roceeded back to Benicia, when Colonel Semple discovered the 
mistake he had made in the location of his town. He proceeded 
at once to move it to its jjresent and proper location. Green had 
brought up a carpenter named Hicks on the boat to build the new 
store; and while Semple hauled the goods to the new location, 
Hicks began the erection of the Imilding and Green stayed at the 
old location to watch the remaining property till all was safely 
hauled. As soon as they had their store up, Semple and Green 
laid out the town and proceeded to make a metropolis of it. That 
it isn't a city of a million people is no fault of theirs; for they 
both spent their lives, and died, booming it. 

Semple & Green's store building was a story and a half high, 
and was located on Levee Street, between Fifth and Sixth. The 
river has so encroached upon the laud that the levee now covers 
the site. This was not the first building in the town. By the time 
Colonel Semple reached his permanent location, he found that 
two men, named Heeps and Hale, had started a little shanty on 
what is now Fifth Street, between the Biverside Hotel and the 
river. . In this they opened up a hotel, remained for a few weeks, 
and then departed. A man named Sheppard had also started a 
log cabin at what is now Sixth and Main Streets, where the Eagle 
Stable now stands ; Imt Sheppard abandoned his building before it 
was finished. 

After Heeps & Hale abandoned their hotel, Semple & Green 
had to add a hotel department to their store. This they did by 
installing a bar in the store and building on an addition in the 
rear for a kitchen and dining room. Business was good, for there 
was a great deal of travel up and down the valley, between the 
.mines of Shasta and the bay; and the new landlords found that 
there were quite a number of hunters, trappers, homeseekers, 
prospectors, teamsters and other travelers to be cared for, even 
at that early elate. After conducting their combined store and 
hotel through the winter, Semple & Green leased the hotel depart- 
ment early in 1851 to two men named Hendricks, and a little later 
to Mr. and Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis was the first white woman to 
live in Colusa. She didn't stay long, however, and for most of the 
summer of 1851 the town did not have the lieneficent presence of 
woman to cheer it. But in September, 1851, William Vincent 


arrived by boat with his wife and little daiighter; and from that 
time ou, Colusa was never without women folks. The Vincents 
were the first permanent family in Colusa ; and they resided in the 
town for many years, Mr. Vincent being at one time county 
treasurer. The little daughter giew up and married a later 
county treasurer. A son was born to the 'Vincents in November, 
1851 ; and he was the first child born in the town. 

During the year 1851 Colusa grew to be a town of about 
twenty people, and nearly that many business establishments; for 
almost every man in the town was the proprietor of his own busi- 
ness. The country round about, especially up and down the river, 
also began to be taken up and settled in 1850 and 1851 quite exten- 
sively. The cattle men were naturally the first to come; but 
because of floods and droughts the cattle business was a more or 
less jirecarious enterprise, and many stockmen later turned their 
attention to farming. A great impetus was given to farming 
operations by the heavy demand for hay and barley to feed 
the teams engaged in hauling supplies up the valley to the 
mines. To meet this demand, rather than to establish homes, a 
number of men began farming in the county during the two 
years mentioned. A number of others established "hotels" at 
various points along the route to the mines, also with a view to 
aiding the teaming business, which had by this time grown to 
great proportions. 

Even at this early date, Colusa County was the scene of two 
earnest, though rather (juiet, competitions. One was between the 
men who were interested in boat traffic and those who moved 
goods by team; and the other was between the two routes of 
passenger travel to the northern mines, one up along the eastern 
foothills of the valley, via Marysville and Chico, and the other 
up the middle of the valley, along the riA-er, via Colusa. Colonel 
Semple's dream, when he located his town at the head of deep- 
water navigation, was that it should become a great steamboat 
terminus and distributing point ; but, in the first place, steamboat- 
ing required a large outlay of capital, and, in the second place, 
it was a hazardous business because of the many snags and shoals 
in the river. So, while Colonel Semple was struggling to get a 
permanent line of steamers established between Sacramento and 
Colusa, hundreds of tons of supplies were being taken north 
through Colusa to the mines by wagon; and after he did get the 
Orient and her successors to going regularly, Colusa became, not 
only a transfer and shipping center for freight, as he had hoped, 
but also a busy center of stage lines. At this time there were 
sometimes as many as fifty great freight wagons loaded and 
started from the town in a single day. 


It can be readily seen that all this activity created an urgent 
demand for horse feed, a demand that the alert prospectors and 
travelers through the county were not slow to see and appreciate. 
As a consequence, farming operations commenced and were stim- 
ulated. No complete list of those who settled at that time within 
the present limits of the county can be given; but the names of 
some of them are known, and they will be found below. From 
these the reader may obtain a fair idea of how populous the county 
was when it considered itself ready to be organized as a county. 

Beginning at the present north line of the county, we find that 
in 1850 and 1851 a continuous line of settlements had been made 
down the river to Wilkins' Slough, which is below Grimes. The 
iirst one to occupy our attention is the Seventeen-Mile House, 
which Hiram Willitts established for the entertainment of the 
traveling public. After wagon traffic to the mines fell off, Mr. 
Willits left Colusa County and went to Mendocino County, where 
he founded the town that now bears his name. The house got its 
name from the fact that it'was seventeen miles from Colusa. The 
other "mile houses" were named for a similar reason. A mile 
down the river from Willitts' was the Sixteen-Mile House, estab- 
lished by J. M. Arnett, who remained but a short time and was suc- 
ceeded by J. P. J. Helphenstine. Princeton is now situated upon 
the location of the Sixteen-Mile House. About two miles below 
Princeton was Sterling's Ranch, the first settlement in the county; 
and a mile below that was the Eleven-Mile House, established by 
Thomas Parton. (It will be seen that the figures given do not 
tally; but the early settlers did not try to be particularly accu- 
rate.) Two stockmen and ranchers, Charles Brooks and Ben 
Payne, had settled near Parton 's place, on what was later called 
the Hubbard ranch, and which was recently the scene of the 
"Thousand Acres" fiasco. A mile further down, the Ten-Mile 
House had been established by L. H. Helphenstine. His son, 
Henry Russell Helphenstine, still lives there. This is the only 
place between Princeton and Colusa, and almost the only place in 
the county, along the river, that still remains in the name of the 
original founder. The Helphenstine place has been the Helphen- 
stine place for sixtj^-seven years, and bids fair to remain so for at 
least that many years to come. The present owner was born 
there in 1858, and is one of the oldest citizens, in point of resi- 
dence, in the county. A mile below Helphenstine 's, S. H. Cooper 
established the Nine-Mile House; and two miles further down, 
Robert Payne and James Hill were running the Seven-Mile 
House. This was located a few hundred feet south of where the 
county road crosses the railroad, near Tony Wohlfrom's resi- 
dence. It was the original location of the town of Colusa. Two 


miles below the Seven-Mile House, Obed DeLong had the Five- 
Mile House. This is where the Maxwell road leaves the river 
road, and it is now known as the Seavers place. Eobert N. Park- 
hill, a refined and educated man, one of the first election officials 
in the county and a member of the first grand jury, took up a 
"wood ranch" on the east side, three miles above Colusa, in 1851, 
and was active in the county's affairs till 1855, when he disap- 
peared from his cabin, leaving money and all his effects undis- 
turbed. He was never seen or heard from again; and his dis- 
pearance was a mystery that was widely speculated upon at the 
time, but that has never been solved. 

Below Colusa, almost on the outskirts of the town, J. T. 
Marr, White Brothers, Abbe Brothers, James Keefer, John 
Eogers, and Marion Tate had come in and were doing a little 
farming or were herding bands of stock. A little further down 
the river, 0. C. Berkey, father of Supervisor P. Y. Berkey, had 
established a stock ranch in partnership with George Carhart and 
Silas Howard; and four brothers named Gibson had located in 
the bend of the river above the present town of Meridian. Jack 
Long had a big cattle ranch aliout where Sycamore station on the 
Northern Electric now is ; while John Fitch and Joe Farnsworth 
had settled just south of Sycamore Slough, where the town of 
Sycamore now stands. Mr. Farnsworth was one of the few pio- 
neers who "stuck," and he became cpiite prosperous. Mrs. 
Farnsworth still lives a couple of miles below Sycamore, on the 
ranch her husband took up. They reared a family of sturdy 
children; and one of their sons, George, is a member of the 
Colusa County Exemption Board, whose duties are so important 
in forming the national army that is to go to Europe to take part 
in the great war. 

In 1851, the Grimes brothers came up the river and settled 
at what is now the town of Grimes. Within one hundred yards 
of where he Irailt his first cabin, Cleaton Grimes continued to 
reside till he was ninety-four years old, dying in 1909. When the 
Grimes brothers arrived, they found E. E. Graham and Eiehard 
Welsh already located near by, doing a prosperous farming busi- 
ness. These neighbors, with the help of a Sacramento blacksmith, 
made the first plow ever brought to Colusa County. Mr. Grahaiu 
afterward became the father of E. E. Graham, the present county 
treasurer, and two other sons, and also of five daughters. One of 
these married E. C. Peart; another, W. H. Cross; a third, C. G. 
Stinson; a fourth, E. L. AYelch; and the fifth, J. W. Eustis. 

The above are most of the settlers along the river prior to 
1852. There was one settlement out on the plains, J. C. Johnson 
having established the Ohio House south of where College City 


now stauds. "When the county was mapped out by the legislature 
in 1850, and organized in 1851, the east side of the river, the 
plains and the foothills were practically uninhabited. In that 
part of the county which is now Glenn County, there were similar 
settlements along the river, but none out on the plains. U. P. 
Monroe had started a town that he called Monroeville, and natu- 
rally the settlers up that way gave their allegiance to the town 
nearest them; so when the county government came to be organ- 
ized, there was a strong contest between Colusa and Monroeville 
as to which should be the county seat. The particulars in this con- 
test will be given in the chapter on the organization of the county. 

Settlers came in so fast, after 1851, that no particular mention 
of them can be made in a work of this scope. In examining the 
list of names given above, it will be noticed that there are very 
few mentioned who remained permanently or left families to 
perpetuate their names. In the years 1852 and 1853, and those 
immediately following, however, quite a number of settlers came 
whose names are well known in the county today. Active settle- 
ment of the east side of the river began in 1852, about a dozen men 
settling there that year and as many more the year following; 
but the names of nearly all of these have disappeared from the 
community, only about half a dozen of them having left any trace 
of their existence, so far as present population is concerned — 
certainly a pertinent commentary on the transitory nature of 
human life. 

Of those whose names are still known, there was Henry Ahlf, 
who settled two or three miles above Colusa in 1853. He was the 
father of George, John, Herman, Adolphus and Miss Emma Ahlf. 
Nick Laux tirst settled on the McConnell place, but afterwards 
sold it and moved to a place near by. J. W. Jones, grandfather 
of J. Morris Jones, of Colusa, settled on a ranch up the river in 
1853, as did also W. P. Goad, brother of J. W. Goad, now of 
Colusa. Mr. Goad was one of the organizers of the Colusa County 
Bank, and was its first president. Frank Steele's grandchildren 
now reside on the place he settled upon in 1853. Col. L. F. 
Moulton also arrived about 1853. Colonel Moulton impressed 
himself most decidedly upon the future life of his county. He was 
one of the most courageous, liberal, and persistent experimenters 
along reclamation and general agricultural lines that the state has 
known. To his energy and initiative is due much of our knowl- 
edge of the possibilities of Colusa County from an agricultural 
standpoint. Joseph McConnell, Clinton and Joseph McVay, 
Thomas Williams, and Jefferson Tate all settled on the east side 
about 1853 or 1854, and reared families there; and some of their 
descendants still survive. 


After the river district, the next section of the county to be 
settled was the foothills, l)ecanse water could be obtained there 
more easily than on the plains. Two or three men located stock 
ranches in Spring Valley in 1852, but most of the early settlers in 
the foothill region arrived in 1853 and thereafter. Spring Valley 
received two or three new settlers tliat year. Antelope Valley 
was settled by at least four men, one of whom was John Sites; 
and a Mrs. Spear, with her two sons, had settled at Stone Corral, 
but later moved to Antelope Valley. 

The settlement of Bear Valley is best described in the words 
of one of the pioneers, Godfrey C. Ingrim, in the Colusa Sun of 
January 6, 1877. This, in part, is what Mr. Ingi-im says : 

"In the fall of 1853, in company with old man Beers and 
J. M. Blanchard, I left Sacramento City for Bear Valley (then 
nearly unknown). On our way we stopped one night at the Ohio 
House, kept by Ike Rice; and the next night we stopped at Jo. 
Bowies', in Spring Valley, who, with M. A. Britton, had just 
settled in that pretty little valley. One thing I noticed on enter- 
ing Spring Valley was the wild oats. They were as tall as a 
horse's back and as thick as they could stand on the ground. 
From Spring Valley we went up Salt Canyon to Antelope Valley. 
T. A. Botts and Dr. William V. Henry had settled there. Tlie 
latter still resides in the valley, but not in the same place. From 
Antelope we went across the mountains to Bear Valley, entering 
the valley on what is the Turner ranch now. I found clover in 
the valley that was seven feet long by measurement. There were 
plenty of deer, antelope, bear, and some elk at that time. I ex- 
plored the valley and picked out my jaresent place. I then thought 
this a beautiful and healthy place, and after twenty-two years' 
residence I am of the same opinion. 

"On the 20th of January, 1854, in company with John H. 
Clark, I settled where I now reside. This valley received its 
name from a bear that was killed just below my house, at the old 
crossing, by a party from Colusa, in 1852, two of whom were Dr. 
Spaulding and Horace Pike. At the time I came into the valley 
there were no settlers, nor for six months after. John Royce and 
A. T. Noyes came next, and settled in the lower end of the vallej'. 
J. M. Blanchard, old man Beers, and Hull — the man that was 
killed on Hull's Mountain by a grizzly, and after whom it takes its 
name — were the next. Stephen Reese, Stewart Harris, Fielding 
and Waller Calmes next came in. William Robertson came about 
the same time. Reese, the Robertson family, and myself are all 
that remain of the old settlers in the valley. 

"... Four miles from Bear Valley are what are called 
Wilbur's Springs; but the right name for them is Cantrall 


Springs, for Joshua Cantrall is the man who took those springs 
up, and lived there until he died. Gil Roberts then bought them. 
They passed into the hands of Simmons and went by his name 
until he died. Then Wilbur came into possession, and the springs 
took his name and retained it." 

Three or four years after Bear Valley was first settled, the 
Stonyford country began to receive the attention of settlers; but 
those who first located there passed on, leaving the country to 
new people. 

There was a peculiarity about the settlement of the plains 
that is hard to account for. The lands in the vicinity of where 
Williams, Arbuckle and College City now are began to attract 
settlers in 1853, or shortly thereafter, especially along the sloughs 
and creeks; while in the vicinity of Maxwell and Delevan the 
lands lay, for ten or twelve years longer, absolutely untouched for 
farming purposes. When the southern part of the county, on the 
plains, was "thickly settled," as settlements went in those days, 
the northern part was a great, uninhabited stretch of "no man's 
land." Why this was the case is hard to tell, because some of the 
finest land in the county is in that section. E. B. McDow, who 
came from Iowa and settled on Funk Slough in the fall of 1861, 
says: "When I first came here to live, William Campbell, in the 
hills four miles from me, was my nearest neighbor on the west; 
Joseph Gibson, nine miles, and F. Calmes, seven or eight miles, 
south and southwest; the Willows ranch nearly fourteen miles 
north ; and nine miles to any settlement on the river east. ' ' Will 
S. Green says: "North of a due west line from Colusa there were 
no settlements on the plains, for agricultural purposes, until 
about 1868. ' ' He ascribes the slowness with which the plains were 
settled to the fact that the secret of raising grain by the summer- 
fallow method had not then been discovered. 

One of the first ranches to be taken up on the plains was that 
located by Dr. Robert Semple, of Benicia, and W. S. Green, of 
Colusa, on Freshwater Creek ; but it could hardly be called a set- 
tlement, for both the owners were non-residents. That was in 
1853. The next year Joseph S. Gibson came in and laid the 
foundations for the great estate of the present J. S. Gibson Com- 
pany, which is among the foremost breeders of blooded stock in 
the state, or in the world. Between 1853 and 1857 the plains 
country received a number of settlers who were destined later to 
become closely connected with the county's development and his- 
tory. Among them were W. H. Williams, who tried a small crop 
of wheat and barlej' in Spring ^"allej' in 1853, and made a similar 
experiment in 1854 near where he afterward founded the town 
that bears his name. Andrew Pierce, the founder of Pierce Chris- 


tian College, settled near the site of College City in 1855. The 
same year Julius Weyand, father of Superior Judge Ernest 
Weyand, settled, with his brother, Gustav, near Arbuckle. J. W. 
Brim came in 1856, and located west of Williams. William 
Kaerth located northeast of Arbuckle in 1857; and Joseph P. 
Sherer settled north of College City about the same time. J. C. 
Stovall, one of the founders of the Stovall-Wilcoxson Company, 
which now owns thirty-five thousand eight hundred acres of land 
in the county, came in 1858 and settled six miles west of Williams, 
on what is now a part of the great Stovall-Wilcoxson ranch. 
There were others who came about this time, or a little later; but 
obvioush' the list cannot be continued indefinitely. Those named 
found the land untouched in their several localities when they 
came, and they proceeded to hew homes out of the wilderness. 
They succeeded even beyond their dreams ; and as a result of their 
foresight and energy, the descendants and successors of these 
pioneers now cultivate broad, fertile fields, live in fine houses, and 
drive powerful motor cars over improved highways, where once 
there was but a silent waste. 

The settlement of the county was substantial and rapid after 
this time. The mines became less and less able to furnish 
profitable employment to all who came into the state ; river trans- 
portation had become fairly regular and dependable; stage lines 
were being extended in all directions ; implements were more easily 
obtainable ; the demand for farm products was steady and strong ; 
and last, but by no means least, wives and sweethearts were com- 
ing to make home something more than a camping place, so that 
by the time of the Civil AVar Colusa County was a well-established 
and highly organized community. 


Okgaxizatiox of the County 

There was in 1851, as we have seen, a fringe of settlers along 
the Sacramento Eiver from the mouth of Stony Creek, on the 
north, to Wilkius' Slough, below Grimes, on the south. Most of 
them were keepers of "road houses," institutions that in those 
days served a purpose different from that which they serve today. 
There were also two very small, but very ambitious, towns along 
the river: Colusa, Colonel Semple's town; and Monroeville, 
founded by U. P. Monroe south of the mouth of Stony Creek, in 
what is now Glenn County. Each wanted and expected to be the 


county seat of the new county; and tins question was not settled 
till after a spirited factional fight, the first of several that have 
disturbed the calm of the county's political existence. 

When Colonel Semjjle came up the river to lay out his town, 
the first state legislature was in session, and he had it define 
the boundaries of the county and give it the same name as the 
town. Semple and Green formed the name by adding an "a" to 
"Coins," the name of the Indians as the white man understood it. 
Mr. Green says this "gave a very euphonious name." But the 
legislature had a committee on the 'names of counties (General 
Vallejo was one of the committee), and this committee reported 
the name as "Colusi," although the founders of the town insisted 
on its being "Colusa"; and when the statute defining the boun- 
daries of the county was adopted, it read as follows: 

"Section 22. County of Colusi. Beginning at a point on the 
summit of the Coast Eange due west from the Eed Blut¥s, and 
running thence due east to said bluffs on the Sacramento Eiver; 
thence down the middle of said river to the northwest corner of 
Sutter County; thence due west along the northern boundary of 
Yolo County to the summit of the Coast Range ; thence in a north- 
westerly direction, following the summit of said range to the 
point of beginning. This county shall be attached, for judicial 
purposes, to Butte County, until a county government shall be 
organized for the same in the manner to be prescribed by law. ' ' 

Thus the county was created "Colusi"; and thus it remained, 
officially, till 1854, when it was changed to conform with the 
name of the town. It will be seen that the legislature had pro- 
vided boundaries and a name for the new county, but no county 
seat. Colonel Semple had evidently overlooked this jjoint; or 
more probably he took it for granted that the county seat of 
Colusa County would, as a matter of course, be Colusa town. He 
was not to carry away the honor so easily, however. 

The same legislature that defined the limits of the county 
passed a statute providing that counties in which a county gov- 
ernment had not yet been organized might organize by petitioning 
the district judge, the state at the time being divided into judicial 
districts. The people living in the vicinity of Monroeville, headed 
by U. P. Monroe, got up a petition and presented it to Judge 
Bean, county judge of Butte County, instead of district judge, 
asking him to call an election for the purpose of electing officers 
and organizing Colusi County. The people of Monroeville were 
perhaps excusable for ignorance of the law or a superabundance 
of enthusiasm in the matter, but his Honor should have known his 
limitations. Nevertheless he called an election for January 10, 
1851, for the imrpose of electing "one County Judge, Clerk, Sher- 


iff, Assessor, Recorder, Treasurer, Surveyor, Coroner and County 
Attorney." The judge seems to have formulated his election 
proclamation on instructions from Monroeville; for he named 
U. P. Monroe as inspector of the election, and designated "Mon- 
roe's ranch" as the place at which it was to be held, naming no 
other election officials or polling places. Evidently, though, he 
intended that there should be other voting places ; for the procla- 
mation says, "It is the duty of the first Inspector to cany the 
returns to Sterling's ranch by Wednesday, the 15th day of Jan- 
uary, and with the Inspectors of the other polls held within the 
county, to canvass the returns of all the votes, and prepare certifi- 
cates of election for the candidates having the highest number of 
votes within the county." Apparently the court of Butte County 
was not aware of the existence of Colusa, for no mention is made of 
it in the election proclamation, although it was a thriving city 
of one house and half a dozen people; but the records of dis- 
bursements of the county treasurer show that J. C. Hicks, the 
carpenter who built the one house in the city, received pay for 
services on the election board that day, as did also Robert N. 
Parkhill, a Colusa settler mentioned heretofore in these pages, 
which would tend to show that the citizens of Colusa had an op- 
portunity to vote at this first election. Apparently they took little 
interest in it, however; for W. S. Green does not remember it at 
all, and Colonel Semple is not mentioned at all, in any connection. 
Under the circumstances, it is not a hard matter to forecast the 
result of the election. Monroeville carried the day and elected 
the only two officers who quahfied. They were J. S. Holland, 
county judge, and U. P. Monroe, clerk and recorder, both of Mon- 
roeville. Naturally they preferred Monroeville as a county seat ; 
and without further ceremony they established the county gov- 
ernment there. Colonel Semple, seeing that local events were 
working the defeat of his cherished ambition to have the county 
seat at Colusa, took another tack. He went before the legislature, 
which was in session at the time, and had the. act defining the 
boundaries of the county amended by adding the words, "the seat 
of justice shall be at the Town of Colusa." The next step in the 
controversy was the following petition, circulated in the early 
part of June, 1851, by the adherents of Monroeville : 

"To the County Judge: The undersigned, electors of the 
County of Colusi, and State of California, being dissatisfied with 
the location of the seat of justice of this county, as fixed by the 
late Act of the Legislature, pray your honor for the removal, 
and that an election be held to determine to what place it shall 
be removed." 


The election, as above petitioned for, was lield on July 11, 
1851 ; and once again Monroeville was victorious. In spite of the 
act of the legislature, the county seat continued to remain there 
for nearly three years. At the general election in the fall of 1853 
the county seat question was again voted upon, and this time the 
result was in Colusa's favor by three hundred ten votes to Mon- 
roeville 's fifty-two. A short time later the records were removed 
to Colusa; and on June 6, 1854, a contract was let for a new 
courthouse at the new seat of justice, the contract price being 
three thousand dollars. 

The best record to be found of the events connected with the 
organization of the new county is the report of Judge Ide, who 
was also county treasurer, to the state treasurer; and it is here 
given in full : 

Monroeville, Colusi County, 

State of California, 

December 10, 1851. 
Statement of the Treasurer of Colusi County to the State Treas- 

On the 1st day of December, instant, the present Treasurer 
of Colusi County was appointed to the office by the Court of 
Sessions of said county, to supply and fill the vacancy of Gr. P. 
Swift, Treasurer, resigned October 21st ; bond filed 6th of Decem- 
ber, instant, which was justified instead of being accepted by the 
County Judge, by reason that said Judge was personally inter- 
ested, and the said Treasurer this day enters upon the discharge 
of the duties of said office, by complying as far as practicable 
with the requirements of Section 49, in the latter clause; and to 
guard against the penalty imposed by the fifty-second section of 
the Revenue Act. Owing to the peculiar circumstances in which 
this county has existed during the six months past, relative to 
services rendered by its officers, our officers (present) will be de- 
tained somewhat (if not in some essential cases wholly impeded) 
in the collection of the state and county tax for 1851. Only 
$93.07 has been collected and paid into the treasury. Of this 
$11,971/2 is for court house; $25.95 for county purposes; and 
$55,141/2 for State and State loan on interest tax. The tax list 
was delivered to the Sheriff, or to the Under-Sheriff, J. C. Huls, 
who, as near as I can learn from information derived from un- 
official sources, has collected some $401.46, exclusive of his own 
fees, and has resigned without making payment thereof either to 
the treasury or to his principal, December 8th. December 10th 
H. P. Bemis was appointed Under-Sheriff, and is proceeding to 
give notices as the law directs, except as to time, and will, it is 
expected, make a vigorous effort to collect the said taxes, which 


amount in the aggregate to $5,1-17.25, of which $1,838,301/. is for 
State purposes; $551.49 is interest on public State loan tax; 
$1,383,301/0 is for county purposes; and $918.15 for court house 
and jail. Further, there are 101 polls assessed at $3— $202 for 
State purposes, and $101 for county purposes. The State Comp- 
troller has received the Auditor's duplicate, together with a very 
brief statement of some of the difficulties under which we labor. 

Some of the principal taxpayers (or who should be tax-paying 
persons) positively refuse to pay any tax. There was collected by 
former Treasurer, G. P. Swift, some $600 or $700 of poll and other 
tax on personal property. Of this I cannot specify, as the said 
ex-Treasurer has not, as yet, although ordered so to do by the 
County Judge, delivered over the money and papers pertaining to 
the office of Treasurer of Colusi County. It is expected that most 
of the tax will be collected within thirty or forty days from this 
time, although it will be, and is probable that a considerable por- 
tion of our tax for this year will remain delinquent, from the fact 
that many persons have removed from the county, and some from 
the state. I am unwilling to trouble you with so long a communi- 
cation, but it may be essential to the welfare of the interests of 
our county, in this manner and at this time, that I, their County 
Judge and Treasurer, at present should explain. 

This county, as you probably know, was organized under an 
order obtained by the petition of its legal voters, of Judge Bean, 
of the adjoining Butte County — election 10th of January, 1851. 
J. S. Holland was elected County Judge, and U. P. Monroe was 
elected Clerk and Eecorder. The other officers elected either 
did not qualify or failed to give bonds according to law. At an 
election called and held on the 25th of February, other officers 
were elected ; of these, William G. Chard and Joseph C. Huls, the 
former Assessor and the latter County Surveyor, and John F. 
Willis, Sheriff, qualified and gave bonds, which were accepted by 
Judge Holland. The Court of Sessions was organized on the 
8th of March, by the election of William B. Ide and Newell Hall 
to the office of Associate Justices, being the only Justices of the 
Peace qualified to vote at said election. Judge Holland was then 
quite unwell, and only able to superintend the said organization, 
which completed, he, being quite sick, left the newly elected Jias- 
tices (a lawful quorum) to proceed in the county business. The 
said court divided the county into precincts, townships, road dis- 
tricts, etc., and ordered that the taxes for county purposes the 
year ensuing should be the highest rate allowed by law, which 
was then twenty-five cents to each $100, this county then not 
being in debt subsequent to the present year. Judge Holland 
lingered in an inconvalescent state and died on the 12th of April. 


An election was called on the 3rd of May, when John T. Hughes 
received a majority of the votes cast for County Judge. Newell 
Hall, Esq., removed from the township in which he was elected, 
and the office of Junior Associate Justice became vacant, and 
there was no other qualified Justice within the county except the 
Senior Associate. An election was called, and Justices called to 
supply vacancies. One Justice, viz., J. C. Huls, qualified and 
gave bonds ; and he became in due time a member of the Court 
of Sessions. Judge Hughes held one term of the Court of Ses- 
sions in Colusi only, and the only business brought before 'that 
session was the appointment of a road-viewing committee. On 
the second Monday of August, the Associate Justices met in 
accordance with the old law (Judge Hughes being absent from the 
county), when for the first time was ]irfs('iit('d William G. Chard's 
Assessor's list — so indefinitely expressed that it was utterly im- 
possible to equalize the said list, and the said Chard and his 
assistants were all absent from the county ; moreover, at this time 
we received the scattered fragments of the new Acts of legisla- 
tion, by which we learned that since May 1st our acts were not in 
accordance with the supreme law of the land. 

We had no longer any evidence, by the letter of the law, that 
we, the Associate Justices, constituted a legal quorum to do busi- 
ness ; that we are not lawfully, by any provision of the said new 
law, convened, not being called b}- order of the Judge for special 
term, nor yet convened in general term-time, and further, we 
are of the opinion that there existed on the 1st day of May, 1851, 
a vacancy in the office of County Judge of Colusi County. And 
having the Acts of the Legislature of California for our guide, we 
conclude that if a vacancy did exist on the said first day of May, 
it could only be filled by an appointment of the Governor. An 
opinion prevailed in the minds of said Court, that if an officer 
be illegal, all his acts, official, are illegal also; and if so, the 
Court has become disorganized by lack of a legal quorum. In 
conformity with this opinion, the Junior Justice refused to act, 
and the Court dissolved without adjournment. In this state the 
business of the county was suspended until the first Monday in 
October last, when, in accordance with the law, I, having been 
elected at the general election to the office of County Judge, and 
being duly sworn, convened three Justices of the Peace, being all 
the qualified Justices resident in said county, and organized again 
the Court of Sessions, which was engaged four days in the trans- 
action of criminal business, when the Junior Associate was ab- 
sent, and the other, after one day's further attendance, left also. 
A called session was ordered expressly for the purpose of hearing 
complaints and for the piirpose of equalizing the assessment roll. 


and five notices were posted in the several precincts. On or about 
the first of October the Assessor returned to the county, and was 
ordered to go over his assessment again, or to appear and give 
such information as would enable the Court to equalize the list 
or assessment roll. On the 17th, one of the Associate Justices only 
aijpeared, and the vacancy could not be filled, and the Assessor 
being sick did not attend, nor did he procure and return to the 
Court any description of the personal projoerty of the taxpayers, 
whereby the Court could be informed, in any wise, of the impar- 
tiality of the assessment, the amount of the personal property 
being given in the sum total, expressed by figures ; and it does 
not appear that any oath was required, or of what the amount of 
personal property consisted. The Court not being able to come 
to any decision on the subject of equalization of the assessment 
roll, the Court was adjourned to the 4th of November following. 
On the 3rd of November I repaired to the county seat for the 
purpose of holding the first County Court since the first organiza- 
tion, and having discovered on the 27th of October that the Pro- 
bate Court had previously no record of its existence, I now dis- 
covered .that the County Court and Court of Sessions were in the 
same condition, as also was the District Court, except such minutes 
as I myself, as a member of the Court of Sessions, had taken, and 
excepting the minutes signed by Judge Sherwood, of the District 
Court, Ninth District. 

Thinking that these interests might suffer from such scattered 
condition of the only legal e\'idence of the existence of these 
Courts, I issued a special order to U. P. Monroe, County Clerk, 
ordering him to perform these several duties of the County Clerk 
himself, or to cause them to be duly performed by some one duly 
appointed and sworn as his deputy. And, there being no person 
willing to devote his whole time in keeping the office open, accord- 
ing as the law requires, at the county seat, and who was able to 
23rocure the requisite bonds, as I was bound in compliance with 
my official duties to be at the county seat to attend twenty-four 
distinct sessions of various courts per anniim, and considering I 
should save 2,000 miles of travel, I rented out my rancho and 
accepted the service as Deputy County Clerk, and am become my 
own Clerk, in accordance with the old maxim, "If you would have a 
good servant and one you like, serve yourself." But to resume 
more particularly this long narration, of our county affairs in 
relation to taxes ; the said Court of Sessions, being on the 17th of 
October, adjourned to the 4th of November, and from the said 
4th of November from day to day, until one of the Associate Jus- 
tices was in attendance, at which time the equalization of the 
assessment roll was again attempted but again laid over to the 


regular term in December, first Monday, in consequence of the 
inal)ility of the presiding Judge legally to act in deciding a ques- 
tion in which himself and children were interested. During the 
interim, the County Assessor, being recovered of his sickness, 
appeared at my office and made some explanations in the manner 
of the assessments, also some corrections, and signed his assess- 
ment roll, officially, which was not done before. November 24th I 
received an answer from the Comptroller of State to a statement 
I had made in relation to abstract of taxable property in Colusi. 
I came to the conclusion that I had better jjroceed at once to 
make the Auditor's tax lists, and have them ready to be accepted 
or rejected by the Court of Sessions at its December term. I did 
so and made up the books (duplicates) on a basis of equalization 
proposed and signed by the only Associate Justice hitherto in 
attendance. On the first day of the December term. Dr. H. P. 
Bemis being appointed Clerk for the term, I called up the deferred 
business of equalization, and it was passed by the vote of both 
Associate Justices, and was so entered by the Clerk on the min- 
utes. The aforementioned tax duplicates were examined and an 
order issued for their delivery to the Sheriff and Treasurer, 
with the order and execution on the backs thereof, for collection, 
duly executed and signed by the Clerk and presiding Judge. 

The above represents our true state in relation to the past ; 
what it will be, in future, a little time will tell; the taxed swear 
they will not pay, and threaten combination to prevent the sale 
of property. 

I shall be pleased to receive any advice or direction in the 
matter and shall conform to the requisition of the law as far as 

Your verv obedient servant, 

Wm. B. Ide, 
Treasurer of Colusi County, Cal. 

From the above it will be seen that for the first year of its 
existence the government of Colusa County was William B. Ide, 
County Judge, Treasurer and DejDuty County Clerk, and unoffi- 
cially performing such duties of the other offices as were per- 
formed. Judge Ide seems to have been the only official who took 
office-holding seriously, and to him must go whatever thanks 
are owing by posterity for the fact that the county got going 
as a county in 1851. Apparently he held himself personally 
responsible for the proper performance of all county official 
duties, and did many things that could not have been expected 
of one man, even in those unsettled and unorganized days. 
Among the unusual services he performed for the county was 


the constnietion of a cage, or iron cell, for the safe-keepiug of 
prisoners. There was no county jail, and it was a problem with 
the court how to safeguard prisoners while the processes of law 
were being gone through with. The difficulty was solved by 
Judge Ide, who sent to San Francisco for some bar iron, and 
with his own hands cut the bars into proper lengths, drilled the 
holes, and constructed the "jail," which served its purpose ad- 
mirably. While the county seat was at Monroeville, this "jail" 
remained out under a tree, where the whole town could take a 
hand in seeing that the prisoners did not escape; and when the 
seat of government was transferred to Colusa, the jail went along 
with it and was installed in the new courthouse, where it served 
its original purpose for a number of years. The "new court- 
house" will be remembered by many people as the old house 
that stood just east of the Colusa Theater and was used by 
Judge J. B. Moore as a residence before he built the house he 
now lives in. 

The court of sessions, mentioned by Judge Ide, was abolished 
many years ago. It was composed of the county judge and two 
associate justices chosen by the justices of the peace of the county 
from among their number. Its tirst sessions in this county were 
rather imsatisfactory, as will be noted from Judge Ide's report, 
and caused him a good deal of worry. 

Although Judge Ide appears from the foregoing to have 
been the most prominent, and certainly the most painstaking, 
man connected with the organization of the county, Will S. Green, 
in his history of the county, intimates that Ide was under the 
control of U. P. Monroe; for he administers a neat slap to the 
Judge by saying that Monroe disappeared "after running the 
county government for some time." 

By the end of 1852 .county affairs were running quite 
smoothly, and ever since that time there has been no lack of 
men to fill the offices. As an evidence of the growth of popu- 
lation, it might be stated that the United States census gave 
the entire population of the county as one hundred fifteen in 
1850; while in 1852 there were two hundred seventy-six men 
who paid poll tax, and of course a great niaqy others who didn't. 
In the latter year a bill was presented in the state Senate pro- 
viding for the division of the county into two counties, to be 
called Leco and Avena. The bill was referred to the proper 
committee, and the committee reported that there was not pop- 
ulation enough for two counties, and county division was post- 
poned for fort}^ years. 


CoLTSA County Politically 

Colusa County was born in a warm time, politically. Wlien 
the infant county first opened its eyes, it belield a spirited 
"scrap" in progress over the location of the county seat — a 
"scrap" that lasted for four years, and was finally settled when 
the county records and the county jail were brought from Mon- 
roeville to Colusa. Ever since those early days, moreover, the 
political pot has occasionally been the scene of violent ebulli- 
tions — contests that have not at all indicated that the people 
are of a disputatious nature, but rather that they are alive and 
awake to political questions. It will be a sad day for the coun- 
try when the people cease to take an active interest in politics, 
local and national. 

For several years after the removal of the seat of govern- 
ment from Monroeville to Colusa, the political life of the new 
county flowed along smoothly. Men were too busy developing 
the land to take much time for politics. There was no news- 
paper to unite the people in a common bond of public senti- 
ment. The county offices were not particularly desirable; and 
no local question arose to create especial interest. 

But the slavery question, which was looming up more and 
more portentously each year in the East, was beginning to throw 
its shadow across California and Colusa County. The founders 
of the town of Colusa were Southern men, as were many of the 
early settlers. Naturally they wrote back to their friends and 
relatives of the beauties and advantages of the new country, 
and induced many of them to settle here. And the casual 
settler, looking over the state for a home, naturally chose the 
location where there was a nucleus of his own people. The 
result was, that when the great storm broke in 1861 this county 
had a preponderance of Southern people and Southern sentiment. 
This was partially offset by the fact that the state remained 
loyal to the LTnion, and that upon one or two occasions United 
States troops were sent here during the war to temper the 
enthusiasm for the South; so that it is fairly accurate to say that 
Northern and Southern sentiment were equally divided, or at 
least equally influential, during the unpleasantness. 

Of course there could not help being some display of j^arti- 
sanship at a time when there was so much at stake on both 
sides ; but there were remarkably few scenes of violence during 
the entire period of the war. The Presidential election of 1864, 


between Lincoln and McClellan, was a fierce contest in this 
county, neither side leaving anything undone to insure victor^". 
McClellan carried the county, of course, for this was then the 
"banner Democratic county of the state"; and it has borne 
that title ever since. It also used to be said that the "left wing 
of Pap Price's army had settled in Colusa County "^a saying 
that may be taken as an indication of the number of ex-Confed- 
erate soldiers who located in the county after the war. So the 
county came by its Democracy honestly enough, and has main- 
tained it uninterruptedly from those days till this, although in 
recent years much more moderately than in the days immediately 
following the war. In some of the counties of the high-taritf, 
rock-ribbed protection state of Pennsylvania, it used to be said 
that you could hunt all day with a shotgun without finding enough 
Democrats to make a mess. A similar statement might have 
been made of the Republicans of Colusa County many years ago. 
Timid Eepublicans kept their politics .under cover, lest their 
taking sides with the minority party might "hurt business." 
One Colusa business man told me that he lived in the town for 
seven years before anyl)ody knew that he was a Republican. 
Today fierce partisanship is one of the things that were, and 
are not. The final chapter in its passing was written when the 
state legislature passed a law making county, school and judicial 
offices non-partisan. Where the newspapers used to record after 
each election that "The entire Democratic ticket was elected 
by a large majority," we now find the county offices filled by 
men from both parties; and there are probably dozens of 
people in the county who don't know what party the various 
officers belong to, and don't care. People and jiapers who once 
worked night and day "for the good of the party," now work 
equally hard, I hope, for the good of the country — and the two 
jobs are sometimes vastly different. 

In 1865 came the close of the Civil "War and the abnormal 
conditions attending it, and shortly thereafter came the announce- 
ment of Lincoln's assassination. At this time, when there was 
every reason to begin to forget the old animosities, the flames 
of partisanship burst out more fiercely than they had ever done 
before in the county. Some of the more hot-headed of the South- 
ern sjnnpathizers announced that they intended to fire an "anvil 
salute" in celebration of Lincoln's death. The blacksmith shop 
and the anvil were located across Fifth Street from the River- 
side Hotel; and the story goes that John H. Lieniug, proprietor 
of the hotel, a man of German birth but a rabid Union man, 
who is said to have feared neither man nor devil, took his Win- 
chester rifle and, repairing to the upper balcony of the hotel, 


announced that lie would shoot any man who tried to fire the 
anvil. No firing was done, but the matter did not end there. 
Someone reported to Captain Starr, commander of the troops 
stationed in Colusa, that certain citizens had been guilty of dis- 
loyal utterances ; and the result was that the commander had 
eight prominent men arrested and taken to the Federal military 
prison on Alcatraz Island, where they were confined at hard 
labor for about two months. Captain Starr, Mr. Liening, J. C. 
Treadway and H. Hadley were a few months later indicted by 
the grand jury for kidnapping, the jury holding them responsible 
for the arrest of the eight citizens. After one jury had dis- 
agreed in Liening 's case, the second acquitted him, and after 
one disagreement in Treadway 's case, the cases were all dis- 
missed. After that the sectional feeling engendered by the war 
was allowed to slumber till it gradually died out. Today there 
is scarcely a trace of it left. To be sure, the old Confederate 
soldiers of the county fo^-med "Camp Pap Price," of the United 
Confederate Veterans, and the old Union soldiers formed Gen- 
eral John Miller Post, G. A. E. ; but the two organizations have, 
for many years, united in decorating the graves of their dead 
on Memorial Day. They will hold only a few more such reunions, 
however, for there are scarcely half a dozen members of both 
organizations left in the county. The annals of the Civil War 
will soon have been written, as far as its active participants 
are concerned. 

The work of plotting out the counties of the state in 1850 
was largely a matter of guesswork on the part of the legislature, 
inasmuch as the state had never been surveyed; moreover, there 
were large areas with almost no population, and there was no 
way of telling where the centers of population would be. Colusa 
County, as at first laid out, was almost a hundred miles long 
from north to south, extending from the present southern bound- 
ary of the county to a point north of Bed Bluff. Two centers 
of population at once sprang up, one at the southern end of the 
county, and one about Red Bluff; and for the sake of conven- 
ience it was deemed wise to cut off a strip of territory thirty-six 
miles wide from the northern end and add it to Tehama County. 
This was done in 1855, and met with no objection. 

In 1864 a bill passed the Assembly fixing the boundary be- 
tween Lake and Colusa Counties east of Bear Valley, thus putting- 
Bear Valley and the Stonyford country in Lake County. This 
arrangement met with fierce opposition from Colusa County 
23eople, and the bill was killed in the Senate. Two years later, 
in 1866, the Senate passed a bill adding to Butte County all the 
territory lying east of the river. A big remonstrance against 


this bill was circulated aud signed, and it was also killed. 
Eternal vigilance seems to have been the price of territory, and 
there were times when even that failed. 

After the completion of tlie railroad to Willows, in 187S, 
that village soon became a town — some of her citizens thought — • 
with all the qualifications of a county seat except the county; 
and it was proposed to furnish that by dividing Colusa County. 
As early as 1882 the discussion had progressed so far that a 
public meeting was held at Orland to consider the matter; but 
the agitation was dropped at that time for want of support. 
The Willows people were anxious for a county of their own, 
however; and in January, 1887, a bill was introduced in the 
Assembly iiroviding for county division. It passed the Assembly 
after a hot tight, but was defeated in the Senate by one vote. 
The next year county division was made the chief issue in the 
campaign for Assemblyman from this county; aud the Demo- 
cratic candidate, who was outspoken against division, was de- 
feated by his Republican opponent, who put the soft pedal on 
the county division issue. In the matter of being downed, 
Banquo's ghost had nothing at all on the county division ques- 
tion. It simply would not be downed, much as the people of 
Colusa and the southern i^art of the county generally wished 
it to be. It rent the people of this county as no political ques- 
tion had ever done before or has ever done since. In 1889 it 
was up before the state legislature again ; and this time it passed 
both the Assembly and the Senate, but the Governor vetoed it. 
Senator John Boggs and Assemblyman J. C. Campbell, of this 
county, both ojaposed it; but their opposition was ineffective. 
Open and vigorous charges were made that money had been 
used to influence the legislature, and on the whole more ill feel- 
ing was engendered than was necessary in the settling of even 
so important a question. 

Still the county division question would not down. In the 
election of 1890 it was the chief issue in the fight between J. C. 
Campbell and H. P. Eakle for the Assembly, a fight which re- 
sulted in the arrest of several Willows citizens for ballot-box 
stuffing. These cases were taken to Marysville to be tried, and 
occupied the attention of the courts there for some time; but as 
no convictions were secured, they were dismissed on June 17, 
1892. The advocates of county division finally won out in the 
legislature; and on May 5, 1891, an election was held to deter- 
mine the question. Division carried, and from that time on, 
Colusa County was twenty-eight miles shorter from north to 
south. The new county was called Glenn County, in honor of 
its largest landowner and leading citizen. Dr. H. J. Glenn. The 


town of Princeton and a large part of the rancli of Senator John 
Boggs were in Glenn County, as at first created; but Senator 
Boggs induced the legislature of 1893 to change the boundary 
line between the two counties so as to throw his ranch and the 
town into Colusa County. This ended the county division matter, 
and left Colusa County as it is today, as regards its boundaries. 

Since the settlement of the county division question there 
has been no great contest of a political nature to divide the 
people into factions. To be sure, the liquor question has been 
ever present, with the anti-saloon forces gradually driving the 
liquor traffic to the wall; and the Progressive movement, in the 
years following 1910, badly disrupted the Republican party in 
this coimty as well as all over the nation; but such fluctuations 
in the political current of a self-governing people must be ex- 
pected. In 1873 the Grange movement was at its height, and 
created considerable discussion in the county. In that year the 
People's Independent party put a county ticket into the field and 
succeeded in electing its candidates for sheriff, district attorney 
and treasurer. In 1879, this element of unrest, of protest against 
the existing order of things, called itself the Constitution party 
and put a ticket into the field. The Constitution i^arty endorsed 
the Democratic nominee for Governor that year, Dr. H. J. Glenn, 
of Colusa County, which is as near as this county ever came 
to furnishing a Governor for the state. 

The decade from 1880 to 1890 witnessed the rise and growth 
of the anti-Chinese sentiment in the state and county. Tens of 
thousands of Oriental laborers had been brought into the state 
to help build the railroads and to assist in other great enter- 
prises. When the work for which they were imported was fin- 
ished, they spread over the state and threatened to supplant 
white labor in nearly all lines. Colusa County had received her 
share of them, and the sentiment against them was growing- 
very bitter. On the 5th of April, 1882, a great mass meeting 
was held at Colusa "for the encouragement of American and 
European immigration," and a little later the American and 
European Labor Association was formed. The association and 
its object were purely anti-Chinese; but instead of stating its 
object bluntly as "Down with the Chinese!" the association used 
more diplomatic language and said it was to "bring domestic 
help, hired girls, from the crowded cities of the East and secure 
employment for them as cooks and house servants," intending 
thus to relieve the county of its pestiferous and insolent Mongo- 
lian colony, who had now assumed to dictate the wages at which 
their countrymen should be employed. Branches of the anti- 
Chinese league were organized in all the towns of the county, 


aud in 1888 the supervisors appointed six delegates to tlie anti- 
Chinese convention in Sacramento. After Congress had passed 
the Chinese exchision bill, the antipathy to the Mongolians in 
this county subsided; and today the two races live together on 
the most friendly terms. 

It has been intimated in the foregoing pages that the Demo- 
cratic party was invariably successful at the polls, which is true 
as a general statement. But there were a number of notable 
exceptions to the rule. Prominent among these was the election 
of 1873, when the Independent Peoj^le's party elected their can- 
didates for sheriff, treasurer and district attorney; the election 
(if 1890, when E. W. Jones, the Republican nominee, was elected 
county treasurer, although the rest of the ticket went Democratic 
by as liigh as 1182 votes; the election of 1892, when Ernest 
AVeyand, Republican, was elected district attorney, and W. A. Vann 
was elected to the Assembly on tlie People's party ticket; and 
tinally, the election of 1914, when Hiram W. Johnson, great 
apostle of Progressiveism, beat the Democratic nominee for Gov- 
ernor, John B. Curtin, by a vote in this county of 1229 to 1208, 
and William Kent for Congress beat his Democratic opponent 
1764 to 751. The great size of the vote is accounted for by the 
fact that women had been given the ballot, but the flop from 
rock-ribbed Democracy to Progressiveism can be accounted for 
only on the theory of a growing political intelligence of the 
electorate, one of the evidences of which was a breaking away 
from the old party-above-everything-else fetich, a fetich to which 
some of the earlier politicians of the county seem to have dedi- 
cated their lives — at least their political lives. 

Other exceptions to the general rule of Democratic success at 
the polls are found in the cases where a special requirement for 
the office limited the number of possible candidates, as in the 
case of J. D. McNary, who, as a Republican, has held the office 
of coroner and public administrator for nineteen years, and 
J. W. Kaerth and Charles de St. Maurice, who were repeatedly 
elected county surveyor on the Republican ticket. These excep- 
tions were few aud far between in the "good old Democratic 
days," but of recent years they have been more common. The 
Democratic majoritj^ was strong enough, however, to make a 
nomination by that party almost as good as an election, clear 
down to the day the non-partisan law went into effect. In this 
connection it is interesting to note that the Democrats of this 
county were so dissatisfied with Horace Greeley's nomination for 
president, in 1872, that the great editor's lead over General Grant 
in this county was only nine votes. 


Finally, we come to the liquor question as a political issue in 
the county. This question, while one of the most persistent ones 
that the voters of the county have had to deal with, has never 
aroused the Ijitterness that some other questions have, probably 
because it has never become a sectional issue. To be a first-class 
trouble breeder a political question must be of such a nature that 
the people of one community or section can take one side of it 
and the people of a different section the other. A question, both 
sides of which are upheld in the same community by people who 
must do business with each other, cannot long divide the people. 
And so the liquor question has been up in many a spirited cam- 
paign, but has left no permanent animosities. By successive steps 
the county has gone from very wet to almost totally dry; and 
the people have accepted the changes as they came, quickly for- 
getting what the old order was like. 

In common with other parts of California, Colusa County 
started out on a "wide-open" basis. The license fee for saloons 
was so low as to be merely nominal, and little or no regulation was 
attempted. The saloon was the common meeting place, and 
therefore came to be more and more of a power in politics. 
For nearly twenty years after the organization of the county 
there was no organized opposition to the saloon. But in the 
late sixties lodges of the Good Templars, an anti-liquor order, 
began to spring up over the county; and in 1882 the County 
Central Committee of this order put a partial county ticket into 
the field. The candidates on this ticket were: Assemblyman, 
Warren Green; sheriff, John M. Pugh; assessor, W. J. Ford; 
county clerk, Julius Weyand; superintendent of schools, W. H. 
Reardon; coroner, Joseph M. "Walkup; surveyor, A. T. Welton. 
They polled a good vote, but were defeated, of course. 

One of the notable figures in the anti-liquor movement in this 
county has been J. D. McNary, who joined the Good Templars in 
Kentucky in May, 1867. Shortly after coming to California in 
1877, Mr. McNary identified himself with the Good Templars 
here; and for forty years he has been a consistent and effective 
battler in the cause of sobriety. Two other leaders of the temper- 
ance forces in the early days were Peter Earp and Stewart Harris, 
both of whom did much to organize and keep alive the sentiment 
against the liquor traffic. 

The first Good Templars lodge was organized in Colusa in 
1868; and among the officers of this lodge were Col. J. F. Wilkins, 
father of Mrs. Richard Bayne, and 0. S. Mason, father of 0. R. 
Mason, of Colusa. By 187-1 the temperance people were strong 
enough to call an election in the six townships which then com- 
prised the county, namely, Colusa, Monroe, Grand Island, Fresh- 


water, Union and Sprina,- Valley Townships; and all of tliem 
went dry except Colusa Township, which went wet by twenty-one 
votes, and Grand Island, which went wet by eight votes. But 
those that went dry didn't stay dry. 

On February 14, 1892, a Union Temperance Sunday School 
was organized in Colusa for the study of the temperance question. 
The men at the head of this organization were J. D. McNary, 
Judge E. A. Bridgeford, and Charles B. Whiting; and it was 
influential in shaping public opinion. 

On December 10, 1908, a county license ordinance was intro- 
duced before the board of supervisors by Supervisor J. F. 
Campbell, and seconded by Supervisor W. A. Vann. It provided 
for precinct option; that is, that the people might vote on the 
liquor question by precincts. On November 8, 1910, they did so 
vote; and Stonyford, Sites, Maxwell, Goads, Butte Creek, College 
City, Cooper, Cortina, Grand Island, Newland, Washington, and 
Williams No. 2 went dry, while Arbuckle, Fouts Springs, Fresh- 
water, Leesville, Princeton, Sulphur Creek, Sycamore, Venado, 
and Williams No. 1 went wet. The legislature of 1911 passed the 
Wylie local option law, making the supervisoral district the unit 
on the liquor question; and on November 5, 1912, Colusa County, 
all but the incorporated town of Colusa, again voted, and every 
district went dry. Since then a number of votes have been taken 
in the various districts, but they have always gone drier than 
they did the first time. Several votes have also been taken in 
Colusa; but it has always gone wet, once by a majority as low 
as sixteen votes. 



As the transportation facilities of a community are, so is the 
community. A community without water transportation, with 
inadequate facilities for railroad traffic, and with bad roads 
cannot hope to be prosperous and progressive in any great degree ; 
and the possession of these advantages goes a great way toward 
counteracting the lack of others. 

Colusa County has for many years known the truth of the 
above principle, but it is only recently that she has acted upon 
her knowledge. For years she was content to be known as a 
"cow county," because the natural advantages of the country 
were sufficient to insure comfort and prosperity to those who had 
settled here, and they didn't care whether the county kept pace 


in gi'owtli and improvements with the rest of the state or not. 
Indeed many of them were so well satisfied with existing condi- 
tions that they were openly hostile to any change, or any measures 
that would bring in new settlers who might disturb the old order. 
Within the past decade, however, sentiment on the transporta- 
tion question has undegone a great change. During that time 
an electric railroad giving excellent service has penetrated the 
county; a second electric road, part of which was actually built, 
was projected across the county from north to south; a branch 
steam railroad has been laid across the county along the river; 
forty miles of substantial concrete highway have been built; 
plans for seventy miles more are under way; and dozens of per- 
manent concrete bridges have been built, some of them hundreds 
of feet in length. The next decade will witness a wonderful im- 
provement in the road system of the county, and probably a con- 
siderable extension of its railroad facilities. The one department 
of transportation over which no change has come is steamboating ; 
and as it was the first one in operation, I shall take it up first, 
for I want to tell briefly of all the different modes of transporta- 
tion in the county. 

Steaiiier Traiisport(itio)t 

"When Colonel Semple located his town, he had visions, as I 
have said, of its becoming a great steamboat terminal and dis- 
tributing point for the northern part of the state. The navigabil- 
ity of the river from Colusa to its mouth had been established, 
the northern mines were using immense quantities of supplies, and 
there were no roads or railroads. But there were many obstacles 
in the way. 

AVhile there was plenty of water in the river, there were 
more than plenty of snags, sandbars, and sharp turns, which 
proved disastrous to the early pilots, who, of course, were un- 
familiar with the channel. The consequence was that it took a 
hard struggle to get a permanent and regular line of boats estab- 
lished to the new town. But Colonel Semple persisted and finally 
had the satisfaction of seeing Colusa and San Francisco con- 
nected with a dependable and satisfactory line of river trans- 
portation — with cheap freight rates, too, which was a material 
factor in the upbuilding of the town and county. 

As early as the spring of 1850 two small steamers had come 
up the river as far as Colusa, probably more for exploring pur- 
poses than anything else, for there was no town north of Sacra- 
mento with which they could trade. In July of 1850 the Colusa, 
Dr. Eobert Semple 's home-made boat, came up from Benicia, 


having as pilot Will S. Green, and as cargo the lumher and other 
material for the beginnings of Colusa City. The Colusa made 
only that one trip ; for upon her return she went to San Francisco, 
where she was tied up till she rotted at the wharf. 

Two other boats were persuaded to make the trip up the river 
in the late summer of 1850. One of tliem went up to Chico Laud- 
ing, where she struck a snag and sank. Her timliers were used to 
build a hotel at Mouroeville. The second boat was captained by 
James Yates ; but she was so slow that wlien near Grimes, on the 
way up, she ran out of provisions, and some of the crew had to 
walk to Colusa to renew the supply. This made five boats to 
Colusa or higher in 1850, Imt they made only one trip each. 

The next boat to reach the town was the Martha Jane, which 
came up in the early spring of 1851. She was the first boat to 
make more than one trip. She made several, but also struck a 
snag and was wrecked. As the Martha Jane had made most of her 
trips with little or no freight, shippers not having learned to use 
the river. Colonel Semple was getting desperate. He started out 
to find a boat to make regular trips to Colusa, and to find cargoes 
for it. He found both. In August of 1851 he loaded a steamer 
called the Benicia with goods for a Shasta merchant, and started 
up from Sacramento, bound for Colusa, where the goods were 
to be transferred to wagons and hauled to Shasta. Near Knights 
Landing the Benicia struck a snag and went down. Colonel 
Semi>le and the owner of the goods hurried back to Sacramento to 
get a boat to take the cargo off and bring it on up to Colusa. 

They got the Orient, whicli had just come out from Maine; 
and with her they established the first regular steamboat line to 
Colusa. She made many trips during the next three years, often 
going as far north as Red Bluff; and although she struck snags 
or stuck on sandbars several times, she made money for her 
owners and demonstrated the navigability of the upper Sacra- 
mento Eiver. 

After the Orient's success a great number of boats ruslied 
into the Colusa trade; and as the same conditions existed on the 
San Joaquin and Feather Eivers, a number of the leading boat 
owners formed a combination or trust, which for many years 
controlled the steamer trade to Colusa. At first the boats ran 
regularly to Red Bluff; but when the railroad was completed up 
the east side of the valley in 1872, the boats quit going further 
than Chico Landing, except at time of high water or on other 
special occasions. "When the railroad was completed through 
Colusa County in 1876, it took away most of the passenger traffic 
and some of the freight from the boats, and the steamboat com- 
pany sold out to the railroad companj*. 


lu 1860 tlie Sacramento Wood Company was formed for the 
purpose of supplying Sacramento and San Francisco with wood 
from v;p the river. It later became the Sacramento Transporta- 
tion Company, and went into a general river transportation busi- 
ness against the railroad company's boats, with the result that 
the Sacramento Transportation Company absorbed the railroad 
company's business north of Sacramento, and for years was the 
only important boat line to operate into Colusa. Of course there 
was spasmodic competition; but none of it succeeded in gaining 
a foothold until 1901, when a number of ranchers and business 
men, chiefly from about Grimes, headed by J. M. Miller, organized 
the Farmers' Transportation Company and put on the steamer 
A^alletta, a boat that differed from those of the Sacramento Trans- 
portation Company in that it towed no barges, but carried its 
cargo on its own decks, while the other boats were all towboats. 

Since 1901, both the Sacramento Transportation Company 
and the Farmers' Transportation Company have run a line of 
boats regularly to Colusa from San Francisco and Sacramento, 
the former company having a twice-a-week service and the latter 
a weekly service for most of the time. About two years ago, each 
company put on a fine, new boat of larger capacity than any of 
the older boats, and for several months both companies ran a 
twiee-a-week service; but in the spring of 1917 they reached an 
agreement whereby they each took one boat off the service, and 
the Farmers' Transportation Company went back to a weekly 

In the early days the boats carried passengers, and made 
lively competition for the stage lines ; but the advent of the rail- 
road put an end to the passenger traffic of the boats. In 1873 the 
California-Pacific Railroad established a line of boats between 
Colusa and Knights Landing, connecting at the latter place with 
the recently completed railroad for Sacramento and San Fran- 
cisco, and furnished a fairly rapid and satisfactory service; but 
when the Northern Railroad was completed through the county in 
1876, this line became obsolete and passed out of existence. At 
present the only persons who travel as passengers on the boats 
are those occasional ones who want to see the river and spend a 
few days on the water. 

In the days of the Orient the freight rates were one hundred 
dollars a ton between Sacramento and Red Bluff, and correspond- 
ingly high to Colusa. Today the rate to Colusa, on rough freight, 
such as coal or lumber, is twentj^-three cents a hundred pounds 
from Sacramento, and twenty-nine cents from San Francisco. The 
highest rate, which applies to furniture and other bulky or easily 


damaged goods, is forty-six cents a hundred from Sacramento, and 
fifty-seven cents from San Francisco. This low rate modifies, of 
course, all freight rates in the county, and has been of inestimable 
benefit to the people in keeping down rates. 


In the year 1870, what is now the Southern Pacific Kailroad 
was being built from Roseville up the east side of the Sacramento 
Valley toward Portland, Ore. It passed twenty-eight miles east 
of Colusa County; but some of the leading spirits of the county 
at once saw the possibility of securing railroad connections, and 
in that year a bill was introduced into the state Senate providing 
for the incorporation of the "Colusa, Marysville and Nevada 
Railroad Company," one of the provisions of the bill being that 
Colusa County was to put up ten thousand dollars in cash as soon 
as the road had entered its boundaries. This road was never built, 
because six years after it was promoted the county got a road 
from another direction. 

It was in 1876 that this county saw its first iron horse. The 
Northern Railway, now the Southern Pacific, was building a line 
from Davis up the west side of the valley; and on May 15 of 
that year the rails were laid across the southern boundary line 
and the first locomotive entered the county. Ten days later the 
road reached Arbuckle, and that town held a celebration in honor 
of the event ; and on June 23, 1876, Williams held a celebration in 
honor of the completion of the road to that town. Williams was 
the terminus of the road till 1878, when it was continued to 

The people of Colusa at once began to plan for a connection 
between their town and the new road. They had been offered the 
main line itself, on condition that they grant some concessions as 
a reimbursement to the railroad for building its line across the 
Trough; but some of the most influential of the town's people 
felt sure that the road would come through Colusa anyway, and 
so they refused to grant the concessions — and the road kept on its 
way up the almost uninhabited plains west of the Trough, leaving 
Colusa isolated, and up against the problem of getting a rail con- 
nection with the new line. In 1876 a bill passed the Assembly 
authorizing Colusa to issue bonds for a railroad to connect the 
town with the Northern Railway; but nothing of practical value 
was done for ten years. In" June, 1885, subscription papers were 
circulated in Colusa to raise money to build the connecting road. 
The business men of the town subscribed so liberally that the road 
was assured, and the subscribers met and elected E. A. Harrina-- 


ton, W. P. Harrington, E. W. Jones, J. B. Cooke, and AV. D. Dean 
directors, and B. H. Burton treasurer. They also tendered a vote 
of tlianks to E. A. Harrington for Ins work in promoting tlie road. 
There were one hundred fifty stockholders, with subscriptions 
aggregating $41,200; and on July 17, 1885, articles of incorpora- 
tion of the Colusa Railroad Company were filed. 

Work was started on the road at once. At first it was in- 
tended to connect with the Northern Railway at Williams; but 
the citizens of that town did not "come through" with the finan- 
cial assistance the promoters of the road expected, and they deter- 
mined to take it to a point due west of Colusa, where J. W. Potts 
had donated a tract of forty acres of land for a town site. The 
location of the road was partially determined by the fact that, a 
few years before, the town had built directl}^ west a grade for a 
wagon road, which it donated to the new railroad, thus obviating 
the necessity of much grading. 

On April 30, 1886, the first passenger train was run between 
Colusa and Colusa Junction; and Colusa County had her second 
railroad. The event was marked by a free excursion and a big 
celebration. On June 8, 1886, the name of the company was changed 
from Colusa Railroad Company to Colusa & Lake Railroad Com- 
pany, and steps were taken to continue the road to Sites, which was 
accomplished on September 29 of that year. 

The road was a narrow-gauge, and on November 30, 1885, a 
barge arrived in Colusa carrying the first locomotive for the 
service, and the first locomotive ever seen in Colusa. George 
Ogden, a native of the county, was the first engineer employed 
by the company. The first superintendent was E. A. Harring- 
ton, who served till his death and was succeeded, on December 
1, 1903, by M. E. Burrows. Mr. Burrows served as superin- 
tendent till May 21, 1915, the day the road made its last freight 
run, passenger service having been discontinued on August 5, 1914. 
It had been operated for over twenty-nine years, and in all that 
time had missed only one run, and had never killed or seriously 
injured a passenger. The coming of the Northern Electric and the 
encroachments of the automobile finally took away so much of 
its traffic that it had to quit. It served its purpose well, but was 
never a paying enterprise financially ; for the company never paid 
a dividend, although the fare was eighty cents between Colusa and 
the Junction, a distance of less than ten miles. 

The end of the nineteenth century witnessed a great develop- 
ment in interurban electric roads in California. Among the roads 
promoted about this time was the Northern Electric, connecting 
Sacramento, Marysville and Chico. In 1906 agents for the North- 


ern Electric came quietly into Colusa and Iwuglit a lilock or two 
of land for terminal purposes ; and as soon as this became known, 
there were many rumors of an immediate construction of the 
road. On December 3 of that year the main line was finished, and 
trains were started ou a regular schedule from Chico and Oroville 
to Marysville; and it was announced that eighty per cent, of the 
road from Marysville to Sacramento was finished. On that same 
day, December 3, officials of the company appeared before the 
town trustees of Colusa and asked for a franchise for the road for 
the full length of Market Street. Three days later the franchise 
was granted, and there was a great deal of quiet excitement and 
elation in the town, manifested chiefly in a perceptible quickening 
of real estate values. 

The excitement was certainly i)ardonable, for the Northern 
Electric wasn't the only road that had Ijeen flirting with the town 
that year. An electric road called the "Shasta Southern" had 
been promoted earlier in the year, and on March 19 had dug up 
Main Street, between Fifth and Sixth, and laid a couple of rails 
to hold a franchise. It had also laid some rails in Princeton for a 
similar purpose. The Shasta Southern was to connect Hamilton 
City with Colusa, Grimes, Woodland and the Bay ; and the Pacific 
Sugar Construction Company had guaranteed that it would be 
built at once as far as Colusa, provided that fifteen hundred acres 
of sugar beets were pledged lietween Colusa and Princeton. Its 
chief purpose was to supply the sugar factory at Hamilton City 
with beets. In December of 1906 it established offices in Colusa, 
and had a force of fourteen men running lines between Colusa 
and Princeton. With two electric lines knocking at the door, 
Colusa's excitement was only natural, especially as Southern 
Pacific representatives were looking over the ground with a view 
to running a road from the main line, in the vicinity of Arbuckle 
or Harrington, through Colusa and on up to Hamilton. On the 
last day of 1906, Northern Electric surveyors started running lines 
in town for their road; and four days later the Shasta Southern 
engineers reached the borders of the town with their line. Colusa 
considered itself a very busy railroad center just then; but not 
long after that rumors began to fly that, owing to inalnlity to get 
rails and ties, the Shasta Southern would be delayed for a year — 
and that was the last of the Shasta Southern. 

On January 7, 1907, the Northern Electric applied to the 
trustees of Colusa for an exclusive franchise along the river front, 
and thus precipitated a discussion that crowded out all other topics 
for a time. The trustees didn't want to make the franchise exclu- 
sive, to the detriment of any other road that might come along ; but 
the Northern Electric insisted that it be exclusive, and many of the 


citizens feared that the road wouldn't come at all if its request 
were not granted. The following verses are part of a poem that 
was written by Mrs. E. M. Liening and published as part of the 
discussion : 

"0 Town Trustees! City Dads! 
This whole round world is full of fads, 
And old Colus' hain't had her share; 
Therefore we hope you '11 do and dare, 

"And give us these electric roads, 
To run on down by Jimmy Goad's, 
And way on out to everywhere. 

Town Trustees, do make a dare! 

"Oh! do run down our streets them keers, 
If every horse in town it skeers; 
If one is now and then killed off, 
You know there still will be enough. 

' ' Oh, how we '11 love to see 'em go ! 
We've been so used to travelin' slow, 
The people will come flockin' roun' 
To see them keers come into town. 

"I s'pose no woman '11 wash a dish. 
Or care much whether meat or fish 
Gets fried a bit too much that day. 
For every man will be away. 

' ' The 'lectric will bring some things in 
That we have hankered for like sin ; 
And some things that we do not like 
Will get a move on them and hike 

"To other fields and pastures new. 
We're sure we do not care. Do you? 

1 tell you it will just be grand 
When City Dads take such a stand. 

" Oh, don't you hear that big bell ring? 
Oh, don't you hear them children sing? 
Oh, don't you hear the big brass band! 
Oh, can 't you see the big glad hand f 


" 'Tis stretched to you from East and West. 
Of all the lands, we love this best, 
Where we have lived for many a year. 
Where we have many a friend, and dear, 

"And where we know we sure will die. 
Town Trustees, again we cry, 
Do let old Coins' have her share. 
City Dads, do make a dare!" 

The town trustees finally granted the water front franchise, 
but did not make it exchisive ; and during the subsequent delay in 
the coming of the road they were subjected to much unfair and 
unjust criticism for not acceding to the wishes of the railroad 

The first franchise granted the Northern Electric provided 
that work must be begun within ninety days. 'Wlien the ninety days 
were up, no work had been done, and the railroad people appeared 
and asked for an extension of one hundred eighty days, which 
was granted. Wlien this time had expired, they asked for ninety 
days more; and finally it was announced that there would be no 
road to Colusa in 1907, because the bridge couldn't be finished. 
Interest in the road then died out, and was not renewed till 1911, 
when the railroad people offered to spend $1,250,000 to bring the 
road from Marysville to Colusa if the people on the west side of 
the river would buy bonds to the amount of $200,000. In August 
of that year, J. F. Campbell and Eobert D. Hunter were sent out 
to place the bonds with the people of Colusa County ; and although 
the response was anything but hearty, such progress was made 
that articles of incorporation of the Marysville-Colusa Branch 
of the Northern Electric Railway were filed on November 14, 1911. 
Just a week later, representatives of the company bought from 
J. W. Goad fifty acres of land adjoining Colusa on the east, 
thus giving the road easy access to the town with its right of way. 

From that time on, progress on the new road was rapid. On 
January 3, 1912, the officials of the road and the county super- 
visors took up the matter of building a joint bridge across the 
river at Meridian, the expense to be borne in equal shares by the 
railroad company, Colusa County, and Sutter County. The details 
of the bridge were settled on January 11, and the contract was 
signed on February 4, by which the railroad company was to build 
the bridge for $240,000. The railroad tracks were to be in the middle 
of the bridge, and a wagon road on each side. The contract for the 
grading from Marysville to Colusa was let to Maney Brothers on 


March 13, 1912, and tliey at once sublet the different portions of 
it, Harlan Brothers, of Williams, getting the contract for that part 
of the road lying in Colusa County. The work of laying the tracks 
on the streets of Colusa began on December 9, 1912, and at once 
there arose an animated discussion among the people of the town 
as to whether the poles for the trolley wires should be in the 
middle of the street or along the curb. The original franchise had 
provided that they be in the middle of the street, but public senti- 
ment had so changed that when they were finally set they were 
placed along the curb. 

Work on the track and on the Meridian bridge proceeded 
rapidly; and on April 1, 1913, at 5:30 o'clock in the evening, the 
first car crossed the bridge into Colusa County. On May 14 the 
first train, a work train, came into Colusa, and just a week later 
the first carload of freight went out. It consisted of three trans- 
formers from the Pacific Gas & Electric Company's substation. 
On May 30 Colusa received its first carload of incoming freight, 
a carload of ice for the Union Ice Company. A two-day carnival 
celebration was held on June 13 and 14, 1913, to celebrate the 
advent of the road ; and the first passenger train into Colusa was. 
an excursion train to the carnival. It arrived on Friday, June 
13, 1913, a fortuitous combination that may or may not be respon- 
sible for the fact that the road was, not long after, forced to sus- 
pend operations into Colusa for many months. Regular passenger 
service began on Monday, June 16, 1913, and consisted of nine 
trains each way daily. Colusa County then had her third railroad, 
and to the people it sei'ved it was extremely satisfactory. This 
satisfaction lasted, however, only a little over a year and a half; 
for on February 3, 1915, the worst floods in the history of the 
valley washed away a concrete pier and the west approach to the 
Meridian bridge, together with a mile of roadbed and track be- 
tween Colusa and Meridian, the result being that traffic to Colusa 
over the Northern Electric was completely suspended till October 
15, 1915. On that date it was resumed, however, and has been 
uninterrupted ever since. This break in the service of the North- 
ern Electric was the most inconvenient interruption of traffic 
that Colusa had suffered since 1894, when a strike on the Southern 
Pacific had shut the county off from mail for two weeks. 

The Northern Electric did not have the undivided attention 
of the public, by any means, during the time that it was building 
into Colusa County. At least two other roads, besides the Shasta 
Southern, were headed this way at that time. One was the Colusa 
& Hamilton, or "Beet Line," as it was called, and the other was 
the Sacramento Valley West Side Electric. They were both pro- 


inotetl iu 1911, stimulated, no doi;l)t, by tlie activities of the North- 
ern Electric. A prerequisite for the beet road was a pledge that 
at least three thousand acres of sugar beets would be raised 
along its line in Colusa County ; and on January 31, 1911, repre- 
sentatives of the Sacramento Vallev Sugar Company met with 
some of the leading Colusa County landowners and business men, 
to take steps to have the farmers jiledge this acreage. The Soutli- 
ern Pacific officials had said that they would build from Hamilton 
to Colusa as soon as this acreage was pledged, and would probalily 
build later to a point on the main line in the vicinity of Arbuckle. 
The result of the above-mentioned meeting was that in June the 
announcement was made that the road would be built as far as 
Colusa ; surveys for the line were begun in August ; and in October 
the announcement was made that the road would be continued 
through Colusa, Grimes, and College City, striking the main line 
at Harrington, and that it would be 60.5 miles long. With the 
beginning of 1912, work on the road was being actively pushed, 
five grading camps being established and in operation between 
Colusa and Princeton in February. But after grading and track- 
laying were finished, the road lay for many months unballasted, the 
reason given being that Orland gravel was to be used, and it could 
not be obtained conveniently till the Glenn condemnation suit was 
settled and the road was pushed through to its northern terminus. 
The first, and to date the last, passenger train came over the road 
to Colusa on August 10, 1913. It was a baseball excursion from 
Woodland, and had to run very slowly because the road had not 
been ballasted and was very rough. A regular freight sei-\'ice as far 
north as Princeton was put on September 1, 1914. The flood of 
February, 1915. washed out a great deal of the grade between 
College City and Grimes, between Grimes and Colusa, and between 
Colusa and Princeton, and for many months the road lay unused. 
In the summer of 1916, however, a twice-a-week freight service 
was resumed between Harrington and Princeton, and this summer 
(1917) it was increased to a daily service; but as yet no passenger 
service has been established, although there are occasional rumors 
that there will soon be a regular passenger schedule on Colusa 
County's fourth railroad. 

The freight service was really put on before the road was 
ready for it, the idea being to give the farmers along the route 
a chance to market their grain. The rates fixed on grain to Port 
Costa were: From Grimes, $2.00 per ton: points from Grimes to 
and including Colusa, $2.25 per ton ; points to and including Prince- 
ton, $2.50 per ton; points north of Princeton, $2.75 per ton. 


The AVest Side Electric, whose lines have yet to be built into 
the county, had its beginnings, so far as Colusa County is con- 
cerned, in a meeting held at Willows on March 27, 1911, at which 
Charles L. Donohoe explained that for $1,000,000 an electric road 
could be built down the west side of the valley from Redding to 
Woodland, and that each of the counties interested should raise 
$5,000 by voluntary subscription for preliminary work upon the 
road. J. F. Campbell J. H. Balsdon, J. W. Forgeus, and J. M. 
Stovall were appointed at the meeting as a committee to raise 
the preliminary expense fund ; and they were given power to add 
to the committee a member from Arbuckle. The $5,000 was 
raised and the surveys were made, and about eleven miles of the 
road were actually built between Dixon and a point on the Oak- 
land, Antioch & Eastern; but the road got into financial difficul- 
ties and never reached Colusa County. It was to have crossed the 
county from north to south, keeping west of Arbuckle, Williams 
and Maxwell. 

The West Side Electric wasn't the only road that almost 
reached the county. All of his life that king of boosters, W. S. 
Green, had been advocating a railroad connecting Colusa and 
Chico ; and on March 17, 1875, he and Col. L. F. Moulton began the 
survey for such a road. After running the lines, they were more 
enthusiastic than ever; but capital was shy, and the scheme had 
to be abandoned for the time being. In 1900, however, when the 
electric power line was being built across the country into Colusa, 
these men tried to interest the power company in an electric road, 
but to no avail; and so the road was never built. So much for 
the railroads of the county. 


We now come to the highways as a means of transportation. 
The highway system of Colusa County had its beginning in 1851, 
when Will S. Green dragged a brush across the plains to mark 
out a road over which to haul lumber from Dogtown, now Magalia, 
to Colusa. That road, of course, never became a permanent one, 
nor did any of the early roads on the plains ; for when the county 
was laid off into townships and sections, the roads were made 
to follow the section lines, as a usual thing, a practice that is 
responsible for many miles of extra travel. Of the early roads 
there is little to say. They were of dirt, very dusty in the summer 
and absolutely bottomless in the winter. On many of them no 
attempt was made to travel during the worst part of the season; 
yet it must be said that the people as a whole made no great 


efforts to improve them, despite the constant agitation of the 
matter by Mr. Green and others. Then came the era of gravel 
roads, an era that is not yet passed, although the dawn of the 
concrete era seems to be at hand. 

Away back in the early days the practice of hauling gravel 
upon the roads began; and although they were of a more or less 
temporary character, it was not a bad practice. In 1868 a bond 
issue of $50,000 was voted for roads and bridges, the roads made 
being all of gravel. There have been, and are, in Colusa County, 
some very fine roads made of gravel ; but the quality of the roads 
could have been very materially improved if care had been taken 
to use only coarse, screened gravel. The chief trouble with the 
gravel roads of this county, however, was that most of the gravel 
was sand, and the surface did not hold up during the wet season. 
As a result, the roads were sometimes fearful to contemplate. 
No historian will ever be able to tell the trouble, labor, isolation, 
expense and general dreariness that have been caused by bad 
roads in this county, although this county is no worse in that 
regard than the average. 

About fifteen years ago the oiled-roads fad was on, and Colusa 
tried the then popular method of road-building, notably on the 
road leading from Colusa to Princeton. But time proved that 
oiled roads would not stand the heat of summer in this climate, 
and neither would they hold up through wet weather; so the 
road between Colusa and Princeton has since been graveled. 
About ten years ago some rather expensive machinery was bought, 
and a half mile of experimental macadamized road was built 
west of Williams; but it was so expensive that the machinery 
was laid away, and no more road was built. 

It was in 1910 that modern road-building got its first boost, 
and it is chiefly of that period that this chapter is to tell. In 
1910, and the years following, a great awakening or regeneration 
swept over California, a wave of moral and political reform that 
reached clear down to road-building. I do not want to deprive the 
automobile of its just share in bringing about better roads. It 
was undoubtedly an important factor; but the most important, 
it seems to me, was the spirit of improvement that swept over the 
people and resulted in the issue of $18,000,000 worth of bonds for 
coilcrete highways throughout the state. Colusa County people 
can't take any great amount of credit for the bond issue, because 
on February 8, 1910, they voted on an issue by the county of 
$600,000 worth of bonds for good roads, and it was defeated by a 
hea\7' majority. Nevertheless, when the state made first-class 
roads available, the people of this county took steps at once to 


set their share, even though it cost thousands of dollars. As 
soon as it was announced that one line of the state highway was 
to go up the Sacramento Valley, the people of Princeton, headed 
l)y ^\. A. Yerxa, inaugurated a movement to have it go up the 
river and through Princeton; and on February 2, 1912, they met 
with members of the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce to 
further their plans. The state authorities decided, however, to 
have the highway go up along the Southern Pacific main line; 
and Princeton is yet without a highway, although in high hopes 
of one soon. 

The state fixed the interest on the highway bonds at four 
per cent.; but when the time came to market the bonds, it was 
found that investors would not take them at less than five per 
cent. The state therefore issued notice that the counties which 
wanted highway would have to make up the difference between 
four and five per cent, on the amount of money that was to be 
spent in the county. On January 19, 1914, the citizens of Colusa 
Coimty held a mass meeting at Williams to consider the matter 
of making up this difference of one per cent, on the bonds that 
were to be used in building that part of the state highway which 
ran through this county. On March 7 another meeting was held 
in Colusa, where several other bonding propositions were dis- 
cussed, and the result was that on March 17, 1914, the voters of 
the county carried a bond issue of $452,000, to be used for the 
following purposes: For a new Hall of Records, $60,000; for 
interest on the highway bonds, rights of way for the highway, and 
bridges and culverts, $290,000; for Colusa County's half of the 
cost of the Princeton river bridge, $57,000; for Colusa County's 
half of the Grimes river bridge, $45,000. That was a great day 
for the good-roads movement in Colusa County. The state high- 
way officials ])romptly got the work imder way, and before the 
year was out the county had several miles of concrete highway. 
The most important piece of highway to be built in the county, in 
the estimation of many people, was the lateral from Williams to 
Colusa; and as the preparations for this seemed to be lagging, 
a meeting was held in Colusa on July 15, and Dr. F. Z. Pirkey, 
L. L. Hicok, J. C. Mogk, J. H. Balsdon, and M. J. Boggs were 
appointed a committee to see the highwav commission at Sacra- 
mento and, if possible, have the lateral built at once. A week later 
a delegation of about fifty citizens of the county went to Sacra- 
mento to urge that the Colusa-Williams lateral be built without 
delay. The highway commission promised to do all it could in 
the matter; but it was 1915 before the work on the lateral was 
started, and 1916 before it was finished. In the meantime the 


main line bad been completed tlirongli tbe county from uortb to 
south; so tbat, early in 1916, Colusa, Arbuckle, Williams and 
Maxwell were all connected by concrete highway — the beginning, 
it is earnestly hoped, of a system that will unite all sections of 
the county. Plans for an extension of the system, to connect 
Princeton, Grimes, and all the towns of the county, are even now 
under way. 

During the years 1914, 1915 and 1916, many of tbe wooden 
bridges of the -county were replaced with modern concrete struc- 
tures, the largest and most imi)ortant of these being the bridges 
across the Trough on the Colusa-Maxwell, Colusa-Williams, and 
Grimes-Arbuckle roads. 

Stage Lines 

We have seen tbat tbe founders of Colusa intended that it 
should be a steamboat terminus and distributing point for North- 
ern California, and that for a few years after they got a line of 
boats running regularly their hopes were realized and a great 
deal of merchandise passed through the town. Naturally, as the 
surrounding country became populated, stage lines were estab- 
lished for the carrying of mail and passengers. Baxter & Com- 
pany operated the first and leading stage line out of Colusa, but 
a man named Johnson soon put on an opposition line. They ran 
from Colusa to Shasta, and made the trip in one day. The rivalry 
between them was fierce, and very hard on horse flesh; but the 
speed they made soon diverted most of the travel to and from 
the northern mines from the Marysville to the Colusa route. In 
1869 a tri-weekly express service was put on between Colusa and 
Princeton, and tbat year also an opposition stage line was put on 
between Colusa and Marysville, with the result that the fare was 
reduced to two dollars. In November of 1872 the Marysville 
stages reduced the fare to twenty-five cents; and the daily trips 
became horse races, so fierce was the competition. On February 
12, 1873, B. C. Epperson succeeded in having his Bartlett Springs 
& Bear Valley Toll Road Company organized ; and the same year 
a stage line was put on between Colusa and Bartlett and Allen 
Springs. This line carried six hundred passengers that first sea- 
son. The next year another line or two began business, and over 
two thousand passengers were hauled. On August 7, 1874, a stage 
line from Colusa to Chico was started; and on September 23 of 
that year a line was established between Colusa and Wilbur 
Springs. Altogether, in 1874 there were nine stage lines running 
out of Colusa. In 1876 a line was established between Leesville 
and Fonts Springs; and the next year a tri-weekly service was 


put on between Colusa and Willows, via Princeton. The coming 
of the railroad in 1876 did away, of course, with the stages be- 
tween Colusa and the mountains ; but communication is still main- 
tained between Williams and the various springs resorts, the 
auto stage having taken the place of the old horse stage. The 
coming of the Northern Electric killed the stage line to Marys- 
ville; but there are still three stage lines out of Colusa, all of 
them auto stages. One of them runs to Chico via Princeton; 
another runs to Arbuckle via Grimes, Grand Island, and College 
City ; and the most important one connects Colusa with the South- 
ern Pacific at Williams. All of these will probably pass out of 
existence when a regular passenger service is established on the 
Colusa & Hamilton Railroad. 

The Automobile 

Let me close this chapter on transportation with a brief his- 
tory of the automobile in Colusa County; for the auto is having 
a decided effect on the history of the county. The first horseless 
vehicle, outside of the wheelbarrow, ever seen in the county was 
a velocipede, which arrived in Colusa on March 13, 1869, and 
drew great crowds of spectators. William Ogden brought the 
first steam "traction wagon" to the county on May 25, 1872. But 
the first real automobile ever seen in the county, and the fifth 
machine in the state, belonged to Dr. W. T. Rathbun, although we 
would hardly call it a real automobile today. It was a little steam 
Locomobile, of the type later referred to as a "road louse," but 
it was considered a wonderful machine in its day. That was in 
1898. Dr. Rathbun then lived in College City, and his first trip 
to Colusa in his new machine was made on a visit to the county 
fair, which was being held here. As he and Dr. Gray drove into 
the fair grounds, the people lost all interest in the races and 
the rest of the fair, and crowded around to have a look at the 
"horseless carriage," the first one most of them had ever seen. 
In order that the crowd might see it perform, the management 
of the fair had Dr. Rathbun drive it around the track a few 
times ; and this proved to be the great feature of the fair. 

M. C. Dillman, now of Grimes, but in those days running a 
machine shop in Colusa, claims the honor of having the first 
gasoline car in the county. Not long after Dr. Rathbun 's steamer 
appeared, Mr. Dillman got an Oldsmobile, a four-horse-power 
machine of one cylinder. It was also the object of much inspec- 
tion and many remarks. 

Just who got the next machine I have been unable to learn 
definitely. About that time Frank Wulff built a car, and also got 


a Eambler from the factory; and George Showier and several 
others got cars. In 1900, Will S. Green, having carefully investi- 
gated Dr. Eathbun's machine, got one just like it for the use 
of the Colusa Sun. It was a four-horse-power steam Locomobile, 
and W. K. DeJarnatt received it at Sacramento and drove it home. 
It made the trip of seventy-five miles in five hours, fifteen miles 
an hour, and so pleased the owner that he gave it nearly a half- 
column write-up in the Sun. A modern machine would have 
reached Colusa about the time the Sun's Locomobile reached 
Woodland, but fifteen miles an hour was so much better than 
horses could do that the elation of the editor was entirely natural 
and pardonable. 

Automobiles came very rapidly in this county as elsewhere, 
once they were introduced; and in 1905 there were twenty-seven 
machines in the county. In 1906 there were thirty machines in 
Colusa and its immediate vicinity, and after that the number in- 
creased so rapidly that they could not be kept track of. Today 
Colusa County has a larger number of automobiles in pro])or- 
tion to its population than any other county in the state, the total 
number being in the neighborhood of seven hundred — seven hun- 
dred twenty-eight, to be exact. 

An interesting feature of the development of the use of autos 
in this county was the reluctance displayed in accepting the 
Ford. Arbuckle was the pioneer in the discovery of the Ford. 
In 1912, when Frank L. Crayton took the agency for the Ford in 
Colusa, there were onlj^ two ears of that make in the town. Sev- 
eral traveling representatives had been here and tried to estab- 
lish an agency, but without success, although at the time, in other 
parts of the state, about half the cars sold were Fords. Finally 
the people of the county began to discover that the Ford was in 
a class by itself, but this county still has a greater proportion 
of the higher-priced cars than any other place I have visited. 

The first auto hearse was brought to the county on June 24, 
1914, by J. D. McNary; and today one seldom sees a horse-drawn 
funeral procession. 

Within the past two or three years auto trucks have verj^ 
largely supplanted teams for hauling on the roads, especially long- 
distance hauling. Cooks water and Bartlett water are now hauled 
by auto truck instead of the great ten- and twelve-mule freight 
teams, with their two or three wagons and jingling bells. Ninety 
per cent, of the rice crop, and a great deal of the barley crop, are 
hauled to the warehouses liy auto trucks. The big machines 
havC' entirely supplanted teams for hauling between towns, as 
when a family moves from one town to another; and as tractors 


are verj' geuerally supplanting liorse power in fanning opera- 
tions, the long-looked-for holiday of the horse seems to have about 
arrived. We are fast passing into the age of gasoline, as far as 
local transportation is concerned. The change has brought many 
advantages ; so let it he complete ! 

The Aeroplane 
The hum of the aeroplane is as yet little known in this county. 
A number of exhibition flights have been planned; but for some 
reason or other they have all fallen through, with the exception 
of the one at the Grimes Odd Fellows' picnic in 1917. The 
aviator in that case unloaded his machine at Arbuckle, flew to 
Grimes, gave an exhibition, and flew back to Arbuckle to take 
the train. 


Ieeigatiox axd Reclamation 

Nobody knows just when a householder in Colusa County first 
took a shovel and threw up a few shovelfuls of earth to keep the 
water from his front door or out of his corrals ; neither does any- 
body know just when the first bucketful of water was put around 
a cabbage plant or rose bush. So this chapter will not attempt 
to tell of the many private plans of individuals who have tried 
irrigation and reclamation on a small scale in this county, but 
will deal with the organized efforts of considerable magnitude. 

District 67 
To begin with reclamation, the first reclamation district in 
the county was composed of what is known as "Mormon Basin," 
the land between , Sycamore and Dry Sloughs. Dry Slough 
branches off from Sycamore Slough near where Sycamore Slough 
branches off from the river, somewhat in the shape of a wishbone ; 
and as each slough had, in ages past, built itself uji upon a broad, 
flat levee, the land between them was by nature fairly well pro- 
tected, except at the lower end, where the sloughs empty into the 
"Lower Basin." In 1867, the owners of the land in Mormon 
Basin, seeing that the water could be kept off their land at com- 
paratively little expense, combined and formed a reclamation dis- 
trict which was called District 67. The chief work that they had to 
do was to build a levee across the south end of the district, between 
the two sloughs, which they did ; and although this levee has broken 
on several occasions^ the land in Mormon Basin has been compara- 
tively free from flood troubles. After a few years. District 67 
lapsed ; but it was later renewed as District 479, which is alive and 


active today. The present trustees of the district are J. H. Balsdon, 
president; F. W. Schutz, secretary; and J. J. Morris. Some of the 
best land in the county is in this district. 

District 108 

Tlie greatest reclamation district in the county, although it is 
not entirely within the county, is District 108. It is also one of the 
greatest reclamation districts in the state, or in any state. It was 
formed in 1870, and as first organized embraced the land between 
the Sacramento River and the Trough from a point near Grimes 
southward to Knights Landing. About ten miles south of the 
northern boundary of the district a point of high land, called 
Howell Point, runs out from the river toward the Trough. In 
1902 it was thought advisable to divide District 108 at Howell 
Point, forming the southern part into a new district called District 
729. In 1911, District 108 was reorganized, taking in District 729 
again, with the exception of the Great Fair Ranch near Knights 
Landing, which in the meantime had lieen formed into a district of 
its own. The original district contained a little over seventy-four 
thousand acres; the district as reorganized in 1911 contained about 
fifty thousand acres. Since then some additions have been made 
to it, so that it now contains about fifty-five thousand acres. The 
first trustees of the district were A. H. Rose, Charles F. Reed, and 
L. A. Garnett. Mr. Reed superintended the work of the district 
till 1879, when Robert Cosner took his place, which he held for 
many years. 

Apparently the original intention of the organizers of the dis- 
trict was to gain protection from the river only; they built a levee 
along the river from Knights Landing to Sycamore Slough, pay- 
ing little or no attention to the back water. For the first ten years 
the district was greatly troubled by breaks in the river levee or by 
back water, and in 1879 a party of men from Sutter County 
crossed the river and cut the levee at the mouth of Wilkins Slough, 
claiming that to dam the slough threw the water over on their 
lands. The levee was quickly repaired; and two weeks after the 
act was committed twenty-seven men were arrested for it and 
bound over for trial. The history of the district from that time to 
1910 was one of alternating good and bad years. When the levees 
held, the lands produced a wonderful crop. When they didn't hold, 
which was about every other year, the crop was drowned out, and 
the landowners went down into their i)ockets for another assess- 
ment. The total sum spent in reclaiming District 108 now amounts 
to millions. 

In 1910 plans were made for an enlargement and reorganiza- 
tion of the district, and for extensive protection works. Charles de 


St. Maurice was the engineer in charge, and the business manage- 
ment of the enterprise was in the hands of Jesse Poundstone, 
whose name, for many years past, has been synonymous with the 
name of District 108. One of the chief things planned was an im- 
mense back levee, twenty-eight miles long, two hundred feet wide 
at the base, twenty feet wide on the crown, and twenty-two feet 
high. Night and day for nearly three years, beginning in 1912, 
from two to five monster dredgers worked on this levee, some of the 
dredgers, the Monterey and the Argyle, having booms one hundred 
eighty-five feet long and buckets weighing ten tons. It was also 
planned to have this levee faced with concrete, but that has not 
yet been done. 

Another important feature of the work done on the district at 
this time was the pumping plant at Rough and Eeady Bend. 
This plant consists of five fifty-inch pumps, and was at that time 
the largest in the world. It is capable of throwing one million five 
hundred thousand gallons a minute when all of its five three-hun- 
dred-horse-power motors are going. The district already had at 
Howell Point a pumping plant consisting of one forty-inch and one 
thirty-six-inch pump, the former driven by a three-hundred-horse- 
power electric motor and the latter driven by steam. These pumps 
are so arranged that in a dry year water can be pimiped or 
siphoned backwards through them, and be distributed over the dis- 
trict by a system of canals that diverge from the pumps. The 
yield of barley has been greatly increased in this way. 

The improvements of 1911 and the years following cost over 
a million dollars. Some of the individual landowners in the dis- 
trict put up ten thousand dollars a month for six months at a 
stretch to keep the work going. Now they have an empire worth 
many millions, and producing each year as much as it cost. The 
present ti'ustees are Jesse Poimdstone, J. H. Balsdon, and J. W. 

District 124 

The year following the organization of District 108, District 
124 was organized. That was in 1871. It embraced fourteen thou- 
sand acres north of Sycamore Slough, in what is known as the 
"Upper Basin." It included what is now known as the Davis tule. 
The first trustees were E. A. Harris, Moses Stinchfield, and A. H. 
Eose. They leveed the river from Sycamore Slough to the mouth 
of Powell Slough. In 1880 A. H. Rose, T. C. King, and Howell 
Davis were elected trustees. Some years later the district 
and it is now a thing of the past. 


Other Projects 

One of the most active advocates of irrigation and reclama- 
tion in the early days was Colonel L. F. Moulton, who owned most 
of what is now Colusa Coimty east of the river. His ranch com- 
prised twenty-two thousand acres, most of it overflow land, and he 
spent several princely fortunes on levees, ditches, and other more 
or less experimental work. His land lay between Butte Creek and 
the river, and overflowed very readily ; and when District 70 built 
its levees to the south of him, forcing the flood waters to pass to 
the east and go down Butte Slough between the district and the 
Buttes, Colonel Moulton 's troubles were multiplied. But the final 
and worst blow came when J. W. Parks, a large landowner in the 
Sutter Basin, built a levee or dam across the slough from District 
70 to the Buttes. Mr. Parks' intention was to stop the flow of the 
water through Butte Slouglx, force it to go back into the river at 
the mouth of the slough, and thus protect his lands below the dam. 
The effect of the dam was to put Colonel Moulton and his east side 
neighbors on the bottom of a great artificial lake. The result of 
all these circumstances was a stormy career for the dam while it 
lasted. Meetings of protest were held, resolutions against it were 
passed, the legislature was invoked, the dam was washed out by 
floods several times, and on several occasions it was surrepti- 
tiously cut at periods of high water. It was first built in 1871, and 
in 1876 Colonel Moulton secured from the state supreme court an 
injunction restraining Mr. Parks from maintaining the dam. 

In 1905 the Crocker Estate Company, a party of San Fran- 
cisco capitalists, bought most of the Moulton ranch. They at once 
put three hundred men and one thousand head of stock to building 
a great levee around that part of the ranch just south of the Moul- 
ton "break." The waves from the back water washed much of the 
new levee away the following winter, and no good was ever gotten 
from it, although it had cost over one hundred thousand dollars. 

In 1913, following an act of the state legislature, the Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin Drainage District was promulgated. It 
was a comprehensive scheme for draining the flood waters from 
the entire Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, one of the fea- 
tures of the scheme being a great drainage canal to follow the 
Trough down through the Colusa and Yolo Basins to the Bay, a 
plan that had been dreamed and talked of for years by reclama- 
tionists. Another feature of the scheme was a similar canal be- 
ginning at the Moulton break, about twelve miles above Colusa 
on the east side, and following the low land of the east side down 
to the Feather Eiver. The preliminary work on this latter canal 
has been authorized, the cost to be fifteen million dollars. The 


lands of the entire district, reaching as far north as Chico, were to 
be assessed to pay the cost of these canals and the other works 
necessary for the district ; and at once a nnmber of landowners 
of Colusa County, especially the northern part of it, protested 
against having to pay for draining the swamp lands farther down 
the valley. A meeting was held in Colusa on March 19, 1913, to 
organize the opposition; and the result was that the original plan 
of the district was modified, and lands that could not be benefited 
by the district were left out of it. 

In 1915 the Sacramento Valley West Side Levee District was 
created by the legislature, its object being to form the west side of 
the valley, from the river on the east to the Trough on the west, 
and from Colusa on the north to Knights Landing on the south, 
into a great protection district which should have charge of and 
keep up the levee on the west side of the river from Knights Land- 
ing to Colusa. At first it was provided that all lands in this dis- 
trict should be assessed alike ; but this aroused so much opposition 
from those whose lands would receive little or no benefit from the 
district, that a new plan of assessment had to be adopted, namely, 
that of assessing the lauds in proportion to benefits received. 
This district includes District 108, and will hereafter have charge 
of the river levee of the latter district. 

If this chapter were to include all the reclamation plans and 
projects that have been promulgated l)ut have never materialized, 
it would fill the entire book. One of these projects, however, is of 
sufficient importance to Colusa County to deserve mention here. 
I refer to the Iron Canyon Project, which is a scheme, i^artially 
fostered by the state and the United States government, to dam 
the Sacramento Eiver at Iron Canyon, seven miles above Eed 
Bluff, collect the flood waters during the rainy season in an 
immense reservoir there, and allow them to escape gradually 
into the channel or into irrigating canals in the summer. This 
scheme, if it works, will keep the river from getting too high in 
winter and too low in summer, two consummations devoutly to be 
wished. So much for reclamation, which I have taken up ahead 
of irrigation because the people of the county did the same. 


This is not a personal history of Will S. Green; but he was 
so intimately connected with many of the earlj' affairs of the 
county, that one cannot investigate them far without encountering 
his influence. Irrigation was the great hobby of Will S. Green. 
As long as the breath of life was in him he talked irrigation, wrote 
irrigation, urged irrigation, and worked for irrigation. He hoped 
to see every level acre in the county under irrigation; but such is 


the irony of fate that, when he was called to his reward in 1905, 
only a few acres had heen irrigated, while, in the twelve years 
since, thousands upon thousands of acres have been brought under 
water. The project to which Mr. Green devoted much of his time, 
for many years, was the Central Irrigation District, by far the 
most important attempt at irrigation made in this county, and one 
of the most important ever made anywhere. 

In 1864, Mr. Green made an examination of the river with a 
view to locating the intake of a canal that would irrigate the great 
plains of Colusa County. He was convinced that such a canal was 
feasible; and, securing the services of a competent engineer, he 
ran lines and established a route for a canal through Colusa and 
Yolo Counties. But l)y tlu' time the canal was fully laid out, it had 
developed into a great sliippin- canal one hundred feet wide at the 
bottom, which would cost twelve million dollars to complete ; so it 
was dropped, although the legislature in 1866 appropriated eight 
thousand dollars to pay the expenses of the survey. 

Mr. Green was undaunted by this first failure, and kept talk- 
ing irrigation for twenty years more. In 1883, he met at Willows 
with H. B. Julian, N. D. Eideout, and John Boggs, to see what could 
be done with the waters of Stony Creek. They found that there 
was water enough in that stream to irrigate nearly the whole Sac- 
ramento Valley, and a corporation was formed and the money 
raised to develop the project ; but the opposition of men who al- 
ready had riparian rights in the stream defeated the enterprise. 
This second failure had no chilling effect on Mr. Green's enthu- 
siasm, for he was a natural-born booster and promoter. 

Up to this time all irrigation had been done by "riparian 
owners" or "appropriators," who secured the right to take a cer- 
tain amount of water from a stream at a certain point, and then 
sold it or distributed it over the land. Mr. Green had been advo- 
cating the district plan as against the plan of appropriators, and 
at the Fresno Irrigation Congress he succeeded in getting a com- 
mittee appointed to go before the state legislature and advocate a 
law providing for the formation of irrigation districts. The com- 
mittee was not successful in having such a law passed; but the 
next legislature, the session of 1887, passed what was known as the 
Wright Act, which gave farming communities the right to form a 
district with powers similar to those of a municipalit}'. The 
Wright Act was approved March 7, 1887, and Central District was 
the fourth district to organize under it. The following history of 
the district, written by Frank Adams, Irrigation Manager for the 
United States Department of Agriculture, and published as part 
of a bulletin, "Irrigation Districts of California," by the State 


Department of Engineering, is so brief and clear that it is here 
given in fnll : 

"The district was organized November 22, 1887. Entirely- 
feasible physically, it was still a disastrous failure because of the 
legal and financial troubles that beset all of the districts in the 
early nineties, but most of all because the forced irrigation of the 
great holdings included, averaging 870 acres for the entire dis- 
trict, and with forty owners holding an average of 2,225 acres 
each, could not possibly succeed under settlement conditions exist- 
ing then or even now. 

' ' The petition for the formation of Central Irrigation District 
was signed by sixty-four (supposed) freeholders, and was accom- 
panied by the objections of nine non-resident landowners whose 
attitude in a way seems now to have forecasted the failure of 
the undertaking. Still engaged in the 'bonanza' grain-growing 
of the earlier and more remunerative period, when both yields and 
prices were higher, they conjured up visions of ruin with the 
bringing in of irrigation water. Irrigation would be bad for fruit, 
they said. It would even produce chills and would be a detriment 
to alkali lands. And besides, the irrigation of wheat and barley 
was not a success, anyway. All of the lands included, they 
averred, were not irrigable from the same source ; the boundaries 
of the district were improperly described ; and the Wright Act was 
unconstitutional. Further, these objectors intended in the near 
future to include their lands in an irrigation district of their own, 
which would include their residences, so that they would have a 
voice in the proceedings. When election time came, the opposition 
mustered only 51 votes out of 322, and organization prevailed. 

"Unlike many of the Wright districts. Central Irrigation Dis- 
trict started with a relatively complete engineering outline. The 
estimated cost was $638,900 ; and to meet this cost a bond issue of 
$750,000 was authorized by a vote of 189 to 36. In 1891 the esti- 
mated cost was raised by the consulting engineer to $940,364, and 
an additional bond issue of $250,000 recommended. The justifica- 
tion for this increase was said to lie in the omission of allowances 
for organization, rights of way, and litigation in connection with 
construction, the three items amounting to $181,000 ; in an increase 
in the cost of excavation from 8.5 and 8.75 cents per cubic yard un- 
der the first contracts to 13.5 and 15.5 cents in 1891 ; and in unex- 
pected and excessive costs of rights of way, in one case reaching 
as high as $212 per acre, with the usual rates $50 to $70 per acre. 
Bonds to the amount of $150,000 are said to have been sold for 
cash, and for a time the district had ample funds with which to 
meet contract installments. The market for bonds, however, soon 
became sluggish, and there were no buyers. Therefore, outside of 


small blocks given for eugineering and legal services, rights of 
way, and preliminary purposes, the balance of the issue was 
mainly turned over to the superintendent of construction by nom- 
inal sale, and by him disposed of to contractors on the best terms 
he could get. In these various ways a total of about $570,000 of 
the bonds were put out. While the method of financing construc- 
tion that was adopted carried the work forward for a few years, 
the time came when contractors woiald no longer accept the bonds, 
and in order to bolster up the market a special report on the pro- 
ject was made in 1891 by a consulting engineer of wide reputation, 
who was then largely engaged in reporting favorably on Cali- 
fornia irrigation districts. The district still remained, however, 
in financial distress, the opposition continuing their fight against 
it. In October, 1893, in order to clear up legal uncertainties and 
thus to stimulate bond sales, the district board brought confirma- 
tion proceedings under the then recently enacted statute permit- 
ting such proceedings. The superior court granted the confirma- 
tion sought by the directors ; but the old opposition, now ninety- 
one strong, appealed to the supreme court and finally succeeded 
in obtaining a decision that the organization proceedings of the 
district were illegal and null and void. In a previous case. Central 
Irrigation District had been upheld, but on other grounds, the 
correctness of which was not questioned in the later case. The 
main points of the later decision were that the organization peti- 
tion of 1887 was not properly signed, and that the signers of an 
organization petition must be bona fide owners of agricultural 
lands desiring to improve their lands by irrigation, and not merely 
the owners of town property and lots, as was the case with many 
of the signers of the Central Irrigation District petition. While 
holding that bond sales made subsequent to this decision would be 
null and void, the validity of bonds already issued was not consid- 
ered. In conformity with the decision, the matter went back to the 
lower court; and the new decree of the lower court, rendered 
March 1, 1902, was never appealed. 

"The adverse decision of the supreme court above cited put 
an end for all time to any thought of continuing the old undertak- 
ing; and outside of a brief formal activity in 1902 and 1903, for 
the purpose of leasing Central Canal, no effort has been made to 
revive the old organization. Work on the system had practically 
ceased by 1891. At that time, while about forty miles out of a 
total of sixty-one and thirty-five hundredths miles of main canal 
planned had been built, the system was not continuous, and so 
could not be utilized ; nor had any headworks been constructed, 
thus preventing the running of water in the portion of the canal 
that was ready to receive it. The leasing of Central Canal, Jan- 


nary 6, 1903, had for its purpose the placing of the old district 
system iu the hands of interests that proposed to utilize a portion 
of it for conveying water to lands along Sacramento River wholly 
or largely lying outside of the old district. This lease was made 
to W. M. Sheldon, and was for a term of fifty years. Some years 
previously, hut after the failure of the district, B. D. Beckwith had 
made filings on Sacramento River, and had planned to utilize a 
portion of Central Canal in connection with his appropriation. 
Lacking capital, he interested Sheldon; and these two, after the 
execution of the lease of the canal, formed the Sacramento Canal 
Company, which later was taken over hy the Central Canal and 
Irrigation Company, and finally by the Sacramento Valley Irri- 
gation Company. From this point forward the history of Central 
Irrigation District becomes merged with the history of the Sacra- 
mento Valley Irrigation Company and of its subsidiary, the Sac- 
ramento Valley West Side Canal Company. When these com- 
panies were organized, it was supposed that Central Irrigation 
District was finally entirely eliminated, in so far as its legal exist- 
ence was concerned. The Sacramento Valley Irrigation Company 
gathered up most of the widely scattered bonds at a cost to it of 
thirty-five cents on the dollar, including accrued interest; and as 
one of the conditions of options secured on a large acreage of land 
in the old district, it agreed to guarantee lands not purchased un- 
der such options against any lien for these bonds. Later, a com- 
promise was sought to be entered into with the landowners by 
which certain concessions should be made to the company in rights 
of way and certain other matters, in return for the destruction 
by the company of all of the old bonds held by it. Litigation 
brought on by those opposing this compromise, however, has en- 
tirely upset previous theories as to the existence of the old district 
and as to obligations incurred by the new company in taking over 
the old Sheldon lease from the district and a Congressional grant 
of a I'ight to divert nine hundred cubic feet of water per second 
from the Sacramento River, obtained by the Central Canal and 
Irrigation ComiDany, April 16, 1906. The final decision in this 
litigation, rendered by the supreme court, April 29, 1915, held 
among other things that lands within the old Central Irrigation 
District constitute the primary territory to which the original pub- 
lic use contemplated by the district and by the grant of Congress 
extends and continues, and that when- demanded such lands must 
be served with water from the new system before it can lawfully 
be taken for use on outside lands. Through the agency of these 
two companies. Central Canal has been reconstructed and ex- 
tended, water has been made available to approximately one hun- 
dred thousand acres of land, and^ considerable irrigation devel- 


opmeut, includiug- irrigatiou by pninping from wells, has taken 
place. Thus, at this late date the old district comes in to compli- 
cate operations of the new companies that were organized on the 
theory that the old district was no longer of moment, and could 
not in any way limit the delivery of water to the lands outside of 
it, purchased, and later largely sold, by the various companies suc- 
ceeding Sheldon and Beckwith. An even later decision of the 
California Railroad Commission, rendered June 14, 1915, that 
holds the Sacramento Valley West Side Canal Company to be en- 
gaged in public service, while not in any way affecting the old dis- 
trict, so changes the basis of water distribution by the new com- 
panies that ultimate entire reorganization, probably under one or 
more new districts, now seems altogether probable." 

From the above history of Central District, it will be seen that 
this perfectly justifiable and praiseworthy attempt to better the 
condition of the farmers of the plains resulted chiefly in litigation, 
bitterness and strife that lasted for twenty-five years. It may be 
said that no one was to blame. Some of the men who had to do 
with the project may have been mistaken, but the chief difficulty 
was in getting all who were interested to cooperate. Another dis- 
advantage was the newness of the law under which the district 
was formed. The Wright Act was approved on March 7, 1887; 
and on March 26, 1887, a meeting was held at Maxwell to discuss 
the formation of a district under it. George M. Sutton was chair- 
man of that meeting and H. P. Plakle, J. P. Rathbun and R. De- 
Lappe were appointed a committee to get the sentiment of the 
people affectecl. The sentiment seemed to be favorable; and on 
April 22 a second meeting was held at Maxwell to take further 
steps in the formation of a district. G. M. Sutton, H. P. Eakle, 
P. R. Garnett, G. F. Packer, G. B. Harden, and W. P. Harrington 
were appointed a committee to make arrangements for a survey 
and the necessary petition to the supervisors. The vote, both on 
the district and on the bonds, was decisive enough on the face of 
it to warrant the further prosecution of the matter; but it was a 
mistake to accept on the petition the names of those who did not 
own agricultural lands, and probably also a mistake to allow them 
to vote at the election. Moreover, a mistake in the mechanical 
part of the work was made when the ditch itself was commenced 
on some of its lower reaches instead of at the intake. Of course, 
it is easy to point out mistakes in some other man's work; and 
one of the troubles with Central District was that it had too many 
people doing that. 

One beneficent result of the Central District affair was the 
bringing of water to Princeton. When the Central Canal and 


Irrigation Company took over the system in 1903, it extended the 
river branch to a point three miles south of Princeton, with the 
result that one of the very finest communities of small farmers in 
the county gathered there. Incidentally, a great injustice was 
done these people, for they bought their lands with a water right 
included, and then, by the decision of the supreme court in 1915, 
were deprived of the water right. They are now forming a dis- 
trict of their own, and will pump water from the river. 

The Central Canal itself is sixty feet wide on the bottom, and 
is made to carry six feet of water. The original contractor was 
the San Francisco Bridge Company, which had a special excavat- 
ing machine built to dig the canal. The machine weighed two hun- 
dred seventy-five tons and cost fifty thousand dollars. It worked 
night and day, employing a crew of thirty men during the day and 
twelve at night, and doing the work of four hundred men. In 
twenty-two hours it excavated about four thousand cubic yards 
of earth. 

On September 26, 1906, the Central Canal and Irrigation 
Company, having completed the canal to its intake, began to in- 
stall a pump to put water into it. The capacity decided upon was 
one hundred cubic feet a second, capable of irrigating twenty thou- 
sand acres. The original district contained one hundred fifty-six 
thousand five hundred acres. 

For several years the Sacramento Valley Irrigation Company 
has been in financial straits, and has been selling ot¥ its lands. 
Thus the lands are passing back into the hands of individual own- 
ers, where they should be, and the strife and turmoil caused by 
the old Central Irrigation District are almost at an end. 

In the year 1888, the year after the passage of the Wright 
Act, two efforts were made to form districts under that act, in the 
vicinity of Arbuckle and College City. Both attempts failed, and 
Arbuckle and College City are yet without irrigation. 

For over ten years after Central District was launched, the 
question of irrigation lay dormant in this county; but in 1902 a 
niimljer of farmers living just northwest of Colusa united and 
formed the Amos Roberts Ditch Company. They put in a pump 
and a system of ditches capable of irrigating the fifteen hundred 
acres in the district. This district was not organized under the 
Wright Act, but was a cooperative corjDoration, all profits being 
absorbed in the shape of lower water rates. The moving spirit in 
this enterprise, which has been eminently successful from the be- 
ginning, was L. L. Hicok, who has been the president of the com- 
pany since its organization. The first directors, besides Mr. 
Hicok, were W. C. Roberts, A. E. Potter, W. R. Merrill, and J. 


Grover. The present directors are L. L. Hicok, A. E. Potter, J. C. 
Mogk, George Stafford, and J. S. O'Rourke. Some of the tinest 
fruit and alfalfa in the state are grown under irrigation from 
this ditch, and the Roberts Ditch Company deserves great credit 
for the improvement it has made in the appearance of the country 
about Colusa. 

On September 23, 1907, work was begun on the Colusa Irri- 
gation Company's ditch, which is located on the east and south 
of Colusa, just across the town from the Roberts ditch; and when 
it was finished, Colusa was entirely surrounded by irrigated lands, 
except on the north, where it fronts on the river. This system 
covered at first one thousand acres ; but it has since been enlarged 
to nearly twice that size, furnishing water last year for about five 
hundred acres of rice southwest of the town. The company first 
installed a twenty-inch pump, and claimed that it could put a foot 
of water on an acre of land for thirty-two cents. The first direc- 
tors were M. J. Boggs, J. W. Goad, J. C. Mogk, C. J. Wescott, 
and J. R. Tennant. The present directors are C. J. Wescott, Phil 
B. Arnold, U. W. Brown, George Ahlf, and J. C. Mogk. 

Two or three small systems for using the waters of Stony 
Creek for irrigation were installed about the year 1890 ; and they 
make the region about Stonyford look like a paradise in summer, 
with its beautiful green fields of alfalfa and its thrifty, wide- 
spreading shade trees. 

In 1890, Colonel Moulton ])ut in a ])umping plant ; and that year 
the barge Merritt went up and down the river pumping water for 
the farmers who wanted it. The charge was one hundred sixty 
dollars for twenty-four hours, the farmer to furnish the fuel. The 
outfit pumped twenty-three thousand gallons a minute, which 
would cover eighty-eight acres a foot deep in twenty-four hours. 

A number of private pumps had been installed along the river 
by John Boggs, George F. Packer, J. B. DeJarnatt, J. W. Brown- 
ing, and others; but no other irrigation districts were formed till 
the introduction of rice-growing, about the year 1912. That year 
the Moulton Irrigated Lands Company put seventy-five acres under 
water, and the next year they increased it to eight hundred acres. 
Their ditches, or rather the ditches of their successors, the Colusa 
Delta Lands Company, now cover twelve thousand acres, with 
al)out seventy-five users, or tenants. 

In 1914, James F. Mallon and R. E. Blevins formed a part- 
nership under the name of Mallon & Blevins, leased forty-four 
hundred acres of the Compton and "VVohlfrom ranches near 
Princeton, and put in a ditch system for the growing of rice. 
They sublet the laud to the actual rice-growers, and the euterprise 
proved to be eminently successful. They sold out this project, and 


the next year leased fourteen liuudred acres of the Clara Packer 
ranch and installed another ditch system for rice-growing. In 
1916 they added twenty-one hundred acres to this system; and 
they are now contemplating raising it to ten thousand acres. 

In 1915, Phil B. Arnold promoted the Cheney Slough Irriga- 
tion Company, and a ditch system was built to cover ten thousand 
acres of rice land with water. The company installed one thirty- 
six-inch and two twenty-six-inch pumps on the river at the north 
line of the Mitchell ranch, and the first crop under this ditch was 
raised in 1916. It was not entirely successful, because the ditch 
was not ready in time for early planting; but this season (1917) 
an immense crop was raised. The directors of the company are 
W. H. Ash, president; Phil B. Arnold, secretary; E. M. Hardin, 
J. P. 'Sullivan, and W. F. Klewe. 

Numerous small projects have been established for rice-grow- 
ing, and the industry is growing at such a rate that it is safe to 
predict that all the Trough land and much of the other low land 
in the county will be under irrigation within the next five years. 

On October 15, 1881, a meeting was held at Maxwell to take 
the preliminary steps in having the county tested for artesian 
water. Canvassers were appointed to solicit funds, but little suc- 
cess attended the venture. About 1914, however, a couple of 
artesian wells were developed on the Melone, formerly the Knut- 
zen, ranch on the Colusa-Williams road; pumps were placed in 
sumps dug at the mouths of the wells; and about fifty acres of 
rice was irrigated from them. The experiment was not wholly 
successful, and has not been repeated. Well water is too cold 
for rice. 



Grain-raising in Colusa County 

Agriculture has meant in Colusa County, during most of its 
existence, the raising of grain, or, more specifically, the raising 
of wheat and barley ; and the county has no reason to be ashamed 
to base its claims for fame on its achievements along this line. 
This is essentially an agricultural county. In fact, it is one of the 
great "cow coimties" of the state. (For the benefit of future 
generations, let me here explain that "cow counties" was the 
name applied by the San Francisco delegation in the state legis- 
lature a few years ago to the agricultural or rural counties, when 


said eouuties failed to line up with said delegation to put over 
some particularly raw piece of pilfering. Those who knew the 
San Francisco delegation in those days will understand that "cow 
counties" is distinctly an appellation of honor.) This county 
once held the honor of being the greatest wheat-raising county 
of the world. It held a similar record for barley. 


In 1880 this county produced, with the help of what is now 
Glenn County, two per cent, of all the wheat raised in the United 
States. This county also had the honor of having the greatest 
wheat ranch in the world, Dr. H. J. Glenn's tifty-eight-thousand- 
acre ranch, which the vagaries of fate later gave to Glenu County. 
Dr. Glenn made one sale of eighteen thousand tons of wheat in 
1876 that brought him $594,000, and which, at present prices, 
would have brought him $1,400,000. This county has one farmer 
who raised lifty-seven thousand sacks of barley this year. This 
county has been, and is, the sceue of so many stupendous farming 
operations that they excite no comment here. For this is essen- 
tially an agricultural county. 

The cultivation of wheat and liarley began in 1851, the year 
after the county was started, though in a small way. A year or 
two later, however, as I have said before, the need of grain for the 
freight teams that were hauling supplies to the mines gave a 
great stimulus to agriculture, and the acreage sown to grain 
increased very rapidly. But a number of dry years in the decade 
ending in 1864 held farming back and discouraged many of the 
settlers, so that they left the country. On November 25, 1864, 
however, after two years of exceedingly dry weather, a two- 
weeks rain began to fall, and the farmers went to work with 
great energy. Only seventy-five hundred acres of wheat and 
twenty thousand acres of barley had been sown the year before, 
and it had been mostly lost; but that year the acreage was 
quadrupled, and the farmers were well repaid, for it turned out to 
lie a wonderful year. Many new warehouses had to be built, and 
times were prosperous. In 1866 one Sacramento firm sold twenty 
thousand dollars' worth of farming implements in the county. 
Wheat was especially profitalile, and for many years it was the 
leading crop. 

Good and bad years followed along for ten years, till in 
1874 another exceptionally big crop was harvested, and the ware- 
houses had to be increased in size and number. The year 1878 
was the best crop season the county had ever had up to that 
time, and in 1879 the wheat crop was "sold for $3,000,000. In 1880 
the north wind whipped out $1,000,000 worth of wheat ; yet the yield 


was 2,900,000 sacks. lu 1884 there were uinety threshing machines 
at work in the county, turning out an average of eight hundred 
sacks per day each; and they continued to work from the liegin- 
ning of harvest in June till the end of August. The yield of 
wheat and barley that year was 11,000,000 bushels. The next 
four years were also good for the grain farmer, but it was in 
1889 that he reached the high-water mark of prosperity. In 
that year the first harvester pulled by a tractor came to the 
county, 403,008 acres were sown, and the yield of wheat was 10,000,- 
000 bushels, the largest the county had ever seen. The next year 
was also a fine one. Good rains, good crops and good prices, 
owing to a scarcity in Europe, enabled many a farmer to lift the 
mortgage on his ranch. 


But the climax of wheat-growing had been reached. For 
forty years the lands had been sown to this crop, and now the 
yield began to fall off. As a consequence more and more barley 
was sown, and less and less wheat, till it finally came to a time 
when there was hardly a thousand acres of wheat in the whole 
county. The war has stimulated the raising of wheat the past 
two years, but barley is still the leading crop. 

Barley, although not so high-priced a crop as wheat, is more 
profitable in this county, because it produces more sacks per acre, 
and is not so liable to damage by the north wind. There is never 
a perfect crop, and, on the other hand, there is never an absolute 
failure. There cannot be a perfect season for all parts of the 
county; for a dry season is bad for the plains lands, and a wet 
season is bad for the tule lands. Every season starts out either 
too wet or too dry, too hot or too cold, or too something, accord- 
ing to the prophets, and winds up "much better than expected"; 
and that will probably continue to be the program. In 1896 the 
barley crop was good ; but on May 12, 1898, ten car loads of corn 
arrived at Williams from Kansas "to distribute among needy 
farmers," which shows that crops were not good that year. Most 
years have been fairly good, however, and this year of 1917 
capped the climax for good crops and high prices at the same 
time. This has undoubtedly been the best year Colusa County 
farmers have ever had. It started out too dry; but the weather 
remained cool till the grain was matured, and then, as if ordered 
by the farmers themselves, turned hot to make the barley harvest 
well, mature the rice, and sweeten the prunes. War prices were 
received for all products, and many farmers made a fortune this 
single year. Barley, which has been sold here as low as eighty 
cents, a hundredweight, went up to two dollars and fifty-five cents 


this year, or possibly a little higher for small lots. I don't mean to 
say that all the farmers got two dollars and fifty-iive cents or 
more for their barley. Many of them were holding for three 
cents, and held till they had to sell at about two cents. But they 
all made money. 

Orchards, vineyards, alfalfa, rice and other crops are making- 
great inroads upon the barley acreage; and it is safe to say that 
this crop, too, has reached its maximum limit in this county, 
although it will 1>e many years liefore it will cease to be an im- 
portant factor in the i^rosjierity of the people. 


The sudden rise and marvelous growth of the rice industry 
in this county reads like an Arabian Nights tale. Prior to 1911 
there wasn't an acre of rice in the county. Years ago, Colonel 
Moulton made some experiments with rice; and just prior to 1911 
some exiierimeuts had been made at the government experiment 
station at Chico, with the result that those in charge were con- 
vinced that rice could be profitably raised in this climate. W. K. 
Brown, of the Moulton Irrigated Lands Company, which had 
bought the Moulton ranch from the Central California Investment 
Company in 1907, was watching the experiments carefully, for the 
Moulton ranch contained a great deal of land that was appar- 
ently well adapted to rice, Init hadn't been of much use for any- 
thing else up to that time. In 1911 Mr. Brown planted seventy- 
five acres to rice, and to him and that seventy-five-acre patch 
belongs the credit for bringing rice to Colusa County. It would 
have come later, of course, if there had been no Brown; but it 
wouldn 't have come when it did. and might not have . come for 
many years. In 1912 Mr. Brown increased the acreage on the 
Moulton lands to eight hundred acres, and this crop was so suc- 
cessful as to leave no doubt as to the future of the industry. The 
year 1913 saw an increased acreage on the Moulton ranch, and 
an average crop of seventy-three and one-half sacks per acre, a 
yield unheard of in the older rice-growing communities. In 
1914 there were twenty-nine hundred forty acres in rice on the 
Moulton ranch, and some of it yielded eighty sacks per acre. The 
average yield was sixty-five sacks, and the price that year was 
from one dollar and eighty cents to two dollars per hundredweight. 
The total yield on the ranch that year was 150,000 sacks. 

Mallon & Blevins started their first rice project in 1914. 
They leased forty-four hundred acres west of I. L. Compton's 
residence, put in a ditch system with the pumping plant on the 
river bank just back of the Packer schoolhouse, and subleased 
the land to rice-growers. That was the first rice project on the 


west side of the river. In 1915 the rice acreage of the county had 
increased to twelve thousand acres. On January 23 of that year 
a tweniy-three-car train loaded with rice was sent out of Colusa, 
with large banners on it announcing its identity; and it gave 
the county great prominence as a rice-growing center. San Fran- 
cisco and the rest of the state were greatly excited over the mar- 
velous stories of rice profits, and dozens of men came every week 
to Colusa to investigate the new industry. The Moulton people 
had taken the rice prizes the year before at the Butte County 
Rice Exposition at Gridley, and that fact had its effect. Land 
that could have been bought the year before for fifteen or twenty 
dollars an acre jumped to eighty dollars an acre, and today 
there are many owners of "goose land" who wouldn't take one 
hundred dollars an acre for land which they would have been 
glad to sell in 1912 for eight dollars an acre. 

The one great drawback in the rice business was the uncer- 
tainty in getting the crop harvested ahead of the rains. LTp to 
this time the varieties planted had been of a slow-maturing kind 
that did not ripen till late in October or in November. The fall 
rains in an ordinary season were apt to catch much of the rice 
uncut. Efforts were being made to find or develop earlier varie- 
ties; and in 1915, with this object in view, the Moulton people 
planted one hundred acres of Italian rice. They finished har- 
vesting it on September 23 that year; and there was much joy 
among the rice men, for they felt that the industry would soon 
be relieved of its greatest handicap, a late-maturing crop. Much 
progress has been made along this line since then. A total of 
450,000 bags of rice was produced by the Moulton Irrigated Lands 
Company and the California Rice C'ompany in 1915. The latter 
company had twenty-six hundred acres planted, and got from fifty 
to sixty-five sacks per acre. In the fall of 1915 Mallon & Blevins 
sold thirty- two hundred acres of their first project to the Rice 
Land & Products Company for $250,000, and that winter devel- 
oped a new project on fourteen hundred acres at the west end of 
Mrs. Clara Packer's ranch. Last year they added twenty-one 
hundred acres to this project, and now they are making prepara- 
tions to add sixty-five hundred acres more to it, making it ten 
thousand acres in all. 

Another great rice project is that of the Cheney Slough 
Irrigation Company, organized in Deceml)er, 1915, through the 
efforts of Phil B. Arnold. This project covers ten thousand 
acres, and is supplied with water by three pumps located at the 
river, about six miles north of Colusa. The ditches extend to the 
O'Hair ranch, south of the Colusa-Williams highway. The direc- 


tors of the company are ^Y. H. Ash, Phil B. Arnold, E. M. Hardin, 
J. P. O 'Sullivan and ^X. F. Klewe. 

There were many smaller projects and many individual 
growers in the county this year and last, but not all of these can 
be mentioned. A considerable acreage under the Sacramento 
Valley Irrigation Company's ditch in the vicinity of Maxwell 
has been planted to rice during the past two years, and that little 
town has become quite a rice center. The total acreage planted 
in the county this year was aliout thirty thousand acres. Today 
the demand for rice land is tremendous. One can hardly walk a 
block on the street without being asked for rice land. Every 
owner of suitable land has from a dozen to fifty applications for it. 
Land that was rented for a dollar an acre three years ago now 
brings ten dollars an acre. The industry seems to be only in its 
embryonic state as yet. "What the future will bring, no man can 
tell with accuracy. 


The great forage crop of this county is alfalfa. I have been 
unable to learn definitely just when and how it got into the 
county; but it came many years ago, at least forty years. The 
acreage has kept steadily increasing since its introduction, so 
that today there are about twenty' thousand acres in the county 
devoted to alfalfa. The alfalfa fields of the county may be 
divided into two classes : those under irrigation, which grow only 
hay and pasture; and those not irrigated, which grow a crop 
of seed each year, in addition to hay and pasture. Five or six 
crops of alfalfa are cut from irrigated lands, each crop making 
from a ton to a ton and a half per acre. Unirrigated lands 
produce three or four crops, the last of these being threshed 
for seed. It was reported that the alfalfa on the Sherer ranch 
near College City produced two tons of hay and six hundred 
pounds of seed per acre in 1912. The hay sold for eleven dollars 
per ton, and the seed for sixteen cents per pound, making the 
total returns one hundred eighteen dollars per acre. The hay 
from this same ranch sold this year for twenty-seven dollars per 
ton, which would make the income one hundred fifty dollars an 
acre if other conditions were the same as in 1912. Most of the 
alfalfa grown in the county is fed to dairy cows and other stock. 
Up till the year 1912 irrigation meant alfalfa; but now rice 
takes much more water in this county than alfalfa does, although 
alfalfa will probably always be the main standby of the small 
farmer and home-maker. 



Four kinds of corn are grown in the county, Indian corn, 
Egyptian corn, broom corn and sorghum. There isn't enough 
of the last-named, however, to bother about. It was tirst grown 
in the fifties by a settler who wanted some syrup for his own 
use, and it has been grown to about that extent ever since. Indian 
corn has never been raised to any great extent either. The 
plains are too dry for it, but it grows luxuriantly along the river. 
Because it takes some rather tedious cultivating and hoeing by 
hand, it has never become popular with the farmers of this county, 
who like to spread their efforts over wide areas. Egyptian corn, 
used for stock and poultry food, is grown principally on the over- 
flow lands along the river. It is a summer crop; and where 
irrigation can be had, it is sometimes planted after a crop of 
barley has been harvested. Broom corn is also grown cliiefly on 
overflow lands, and both it and Egyptian corn are largely grown 
by Chinese and Japanese. There was a fortune in broom corn 
this year; for the crop was good and the price went up to two 
hundred seventy-five dollars a ton, whereas there is a good 
profit in it at sixty-five dollars a ton, the usual price in the past. 
In 1914, George F. McKenzie, a broom corn grower from Illinois, 
came to this county, rented some land from the Moulton Irrigated 
Lands Company, and put out a crop of corn. He cured it in the 
shade instead of in the sun, and got one hundred seventy-five 
dollars a ton for it instead of sixty-five dollars, as the Chinamen 
had been getting. Since that time the quality of broom corn pro- 
duced hereabouts has greatly improved, and the acreage has 
more than doubled; but the industry is still largely in the hands 
of Japanese and Chinamen. 


Beans follow the American wherever he goes, or, more prop- 
erly, go with him. There probably wasn't an immigrant wagon 
to C'alifornia without a liberal supply of beans among its stores. 
My guess, therefore, is that beans first came to Colusa County 
in 1850, the year the county was first settled, although their 
coming was not recorded, because there was no newspaper in the 
coimty at that time, nor for thirteen years thereafter, to record 
the event. For years beans were grown in this county only for 
home consumption; but after a time it was found that the sandy, 
friable lands along the river were ideal bean lands, because they 
were easily cultivated and because they held moisture remarkably 
well. Overflow land that is of such character that it can be 
worked into a fine mulch on toi? cannot be beaten for beans; and 


thus laud that is useless for most other purposes becomes the 
most valuable land in the county when devoted to this crop. In 
Monterey County, from eight to ten sacks is regarded as a good 
bean crop. There are hundreds of acres of bean land in this 
county that produce forty sacks or more per acre. The center 
of the bean industry in this county is on the lower end of the 
Moulton ranch, where there are some of the most productive 
bean fields in the world. AVlien beans were from two to five cents 
a pound, their production made no great commotion in Colusa 
County agricultural circles. But when, three or four years ago, 
they went up to ten and fifteen cents a pound, bean land came 
into great demand. Today hardly an acre of good beau land can 
be had for love or money. A man told me a few days ago that he 
had canvassed the territory along the river from Knights Land- 
ing to Red Bluff, and he couldn't get a piece of bean land of any 
kind. Of course this situation is natural, in view of the enor- 
mous profits that have been made in the last three or four years. 
Among the varieties most commonly planted in this county are the 
Lady AYashington, or small white, the pink, and the blackeye. 
In 191.3 Lady Washingtons were selling for three cents a pound, 
pinks for two dollars and sixty-five cents a hundredweight, and 
blackeyes for two dollars a hundredweight. In 1915 whites sold 
for six dollars and seventy-five cents and pinks for four dollars 
and seventy-five cents. Within the past year the small whites 
have sold for fifteen cents a pound, wholesale, with the other 
varieties two or three cents lower. Here again, as with corn, a 
great deal of land is farmed by Orientals ; and thousands of dol- 
lars of Colusa County's bean money are now in China and Japan. 
Of course, prices cannot always stay up as they are now, making 
fabulous profits possible ; but there will always be money in beans 
along the Sacramento Eiver. 


The sugar beet is not by any means a stranger to Colusa 
County, but it has never succeeded in becoming a leading crop. 
Many efforts have been made to get it established, but most of 
them have failed. In 1895 an eflfort was made to establish a beet 
sugar factory at Colusa, but it came to nothing. In April of 
that year John Boggs planted forty acres to beets as an experi- 
ment, and they did well, but not well enough to convince farmers 
in sufficient numbers to supply a sugar factory with beets. The 
next year the Spreckels Sugar Company agreed to erect a sugar 
factory if the farmers would plant even one thousand acres to 
beets. The farmers wouldn't, and Spreckels kept his factory or 


put it somewhere else, and the matter rested for ten years. But 
in 1905 another earnest, even desperate, effort was made to get 
a sugar factory for Colusa. One hundred thousand dollars was 
subscrihed toward the enterprise; but again the farmers were 
reticent about the beets, and the factory eluded us. The next 
move toward beets was made in 1911. On January 31 of that 
year a group of men connected with the sugar factory at Ham- 
ilton City met with a number of farmers in Colusa to try to 
induce them to plant three thousand acres of beets, which, they 
said, would insure the building of the Colusa & Hamilton Rail- 
road. The required acreage was fully, or nearly, subscribed, and 
work on the road was started a year or two later; but it isn't 
finished yet, and the beet industry is still in a languishing con- 
dition. The sugar company itself leased several hundred acres 
from J. W. Browning at Grimes about that time, and has raised 
several crops of beets on it ; but aside from that, not a great deal 
has been done at growing beets. The delay in getting the Colusa 
& Hamilton Eailroad into operation to Hamilton City and the 
temporary suspension of activities at the sugar factory, said to 
be due to tariff uncertainties, have conspired to retard the spread 
of beet-growing in this county, but it seems to be about to take on 
new life. An agent of the sugar company was in the county last 
year signing up acreage, and the next few years will no doubt 
find Colusa County with several thousands of acres of sugar beets. 

Other Crops 

Potatoes have, of course, been grown here since the begin- 
ning, but never in sufficient quantities to disturb the potato mar- 
kets of the world. In fact, most of the potatoes that are eaten 
in the county today are shijjped in. Some of the lands along the 
river are well adapted to potato-growing, when the season is 
favorable; but small patches have been the rule, and not many 
even of them. Twenty-four years ago D. H. Arnold raised fifty 
tons of potatoes near Colusa, and that is the largest crop of which 
I have found any record. 

The year 1874 was a cotton year in Colusa County. A wide- 
spread discussion of the merits and possibilities of the crop was 
going on at that time. W. S. Green sent for fifty sacks of seed 
to be distributed among the farmers, and offered a prize of 
twenty-five dollars for the best bag of cotton raised in the county. 
The most enthusiastic grower was Andrew Rutland, of the east 
side. He brought in the first sample of cotton, grown on the 
McConnell farm on the east side. He had fifty acres planted to 
cotton, and figured his profits at six hundred eighty-two dollars. 


He said that if there had beeu no overflow and two weeks more 
of good weather, his profits wonld have been doubled. For 
two or three years more he experimented further with cotton, 
but finally gave it up. About 1890, J. AY. Bowden was experi- 
menting for several years with cotton. He finally came to the 
conclusion that cotton could not be grown at a profit on land 
worth one hundred dollars an acre; but that on low-priced land, 
with cheap labor, it would pay about thirty dollars an acre, gross. 
Apparently that wasn't enough profit to tempt the agricultural 
fortune-hunters of Colusa County, for cotton-growing never got 
beyond the infant stage. 

Sweet potatoes and peanuts are both grown to a very limited 
extent on the sandy lands along the river, but not in sufficient 
quantity to supply the home demand. 

A novel agricultural product has been furnished by the low- 
lands along the Trough for several years past. It is grandelia 
robusta, or rosin weed, which grows in a wild state, is cut and 
baled like hay, and shipped to an Eastern drug-manufacturing 
concern to be made into some sort of drug or medicine. It brings 
the shipper thirty-five dollars a ton usually, and affords a good 
profit at that price, as two men can gather a ton of the weed a 
day. One firm ships from twenty-five to fifty tons of rosin weed 
from Colusa each season. 

I have made no attempt to make a complete list of the agri- 
cultural products of the county, but have mentioned some of the 
more important ones, and especially those that have had an 
influence on the development of the county, and on the industrial 
life of the people. 



Horticulture, according to Webster, means the culture of gar- 
dens and orchards. In Colusa County it means the growing of 
fruits and nuts. Commercially, as applied to this county, its mean- 
ing may be even more restricted ; it means the growing of prunes, 
raisins and almonds, for these are the only fruits and nuts that 
are grown in the county on such a scale as to be considered com- 
mercial products. By that I do not mean to say that prunes, 
raisins and almonds are the only Colusa County products that 
those unfortunate enough not to live here ever have a chance to 
taste. Not by any means! Oranges, lemons, apples, pears, figs, 



plums, table grapes and walnuts are shipped to a very limited 
extent; but tliere are less than a half dozen growers of each of 
these products, so that they add no great burden to the channels 
of commerce. 

Fruit-growing for Domestic Purposes 

Fruit-growing in this county began, of course, as a domestic 
proposition, many of the settlers planting out orchards of many 
varieties of fruits for family use. And what an opportunity for 
variety they had! I am sure there isn't another section of the 
whole wide world where the husbandman could have "his own vine 
and fig tree" in so many different shapes and forms as here. 
Oranges, lemons, grape fruit, limes, apples, peaches, pears, apri- 
cots, phnns, prunes, nectarines, grapes of a dozen kinds, cherries, 
figs, pomegranates, quinces, almonds, English and black walnuts, 
pecans, olives and many kinds, of berries can be had in rich abund- 
ance and with a minimum of effort. But notice that I said in the 
first sentence of this paragraph that "many of the settlers" planted 
orchards. That is true ; but it is also true, sad to say, that many 
others did not. Many of the early settlers gave no time to the 
minor comforts of life, and many of the later settlers have fol- 
lowed closely in the footsteps of these improvident ones in this 
respect, with the lamentable result that today there are not a few 
ranches in the county without a fruit tree or a vine growing on 
them. This class of farmers, raising barley, raised nothing but 
barley ; raising wheat, they raised nothing but wheat ; raising hay, 
they bought the vegetables for their tables; raising cattle, they 
raised nothing but beef cattle, and bought their butter. Conse- 
quently the people of the county ship in more fruit of many of 
the varieties than they ship out. This is true of apples, grape 
fruit, limes, peaches, apricots, cherries, pecans, olives and berries 
of all kinds. But this chapter is concerned with fruit-growing as 
a coiomercial industry rather than fruit-growing for home con- 



College City has the honor of being the pioneer community 
in the matter of producing fruit for shipment. College City spe- 
cializes in raisin grapes, and did so from the beginning. It is 
now one of the raisin centers of the state, with a raisin history 
going back almost to 1874. In that year I. N. Cain, father of T. 
D. Cain (present county clerk and recorder) and a pioneer who 
had come to Grand Island in 1851, moved to College City, and 
shortly thereafter set out one thousand Muscat grapevines. They 


thrived and bore well, and became the nucleus of the raisin in- 
dustry of College City. At first Mr. Cain had no idea of market- 
ing them, but gave them away to all the neighbors for miles around. 
This would have been a convenient way of disposing of them if 
there had been enough neighbors; but there weren't, for one thou- 
sand vines in the College City section will produce an amazing 
quantity of grapes. So Mr. Cain was compelled to dry some of 
them, making the first raisins in Colusa County. His neighbors 
followed his example, and soon made the College City country 
famous for its raisins. In 1891 William Calmes, of College City, 
got fifty cents more per box for his raisins than any other man 
in the state. His returns that year from a twenty-seven-acre vine- 
yard were five thousand dollars. The same high quality has always 
been maintained. 

Throughout the eighties there was a steady growth in vine- 
yard acreage, not only at College City but also in some other sec- 
tions of the county. Colonel Moulton, for example, set out a vine- 
yard, and on January 7, 1891, sold thirty thousand pounds of raisins 
to J. K. Armsby. Vineyards were planted at Williams and Max- 
well also. The industry has never made much headway at those 
towns, although one of the finest vineyards in the county is the 
Brim vineyard, located about six miles west of Williams. The 
raisin industry has made a greater growth in the last ten years 
than it did. in all the years of its existence before. The county 
statistician gave the acreage for 1905 as three hundred fifty acres. 
Today there are one thousand four hundred thirty acres in raisin 
grapes, the greater part about College City. Most of the bearing 
vineyards are in Muscats, but last year nearly everybody planted 
the Thompson Seedless. There are also one himdred sixty acres 
in wine grapes ; but this industry is not in a very flourishing con- 
dition at iDresent, owing to the threatened destruction of the liquor 
traffic in the state. 

The Arbuckle-College City section also grows a few table 
grapes, principally Tokays. Arbuckle has had the honor for the 
past several years of sending East the first car load of Tokay 
grapes to leave the state; but the territory planted to Tokays is 
small, probably not over seventy acres in the whole county. 

The net returns from raisins have averaged high. There 
have been seasons, of course, when slender crops and sluggish 
markets have reduced profits almost to the vanishing point; but 
for the past two or three years it has been no uncommon thing 
for growers to realize three hundred dollars an acre, gross, from 
their grapes, especially the Thompson Seedless. One hundred and 
fifty dollars an acre may be said to be a fair average return. 


There are thousands of acres in the county now devoted to 
barley that would make as fine grape land as there is in the state ; 
and if prices remain high, as at present, there will be a great 
development in grape-growing in the next few years. 


Prune-growing as an industry in Colusa County began in 1884, 
when J. B. DeJaruatt set out a small prune orchard on his Brent- 
wood farm north of Colusa. California was just finding itself as 
a fruit-growing state, and the air was full of excitement over the 
possibilities. Scattered trees in family orchards here and there 
along the river had demonstrated that this valley is the natural 
home for the prune, and a number of progressive farmers were 
ready to try their luck growing the fruit. A. S. McWilliams, 
who at that time owned the land adjoining Colusa on the north- 
west, closely followed Mr. DeJarnatt with a small orchard. In 
1888 Colonel Moulton set out the orchard at the north end of the 
Colusa bridge; and therein he acted wisely, for that orchard has 
returned many thousands of dollars to its owners since then. P. 
V. Berkey, Henry Ahlf , D. H. Arnold, Eichard Ba^^le and Dr. Gray 
were among the early prune orchardists ; and not long afterwards 
John Boggs set out forty acres on his ranch south of Princeton. 
The Poirier orchard, on the east side, was also among the early 
ones set out. 

In the ten years following 1884, there was great interest in 
the county in fruit-growing in general, and in prune-growing in 
particular. In 1888 the Colusa County Horticultural Society was 
formed, with Colonel Moulton as president and Frank Willis as 
secretary. A board of horticultural commissioners was appointed, 
with J. E. Totman, Sr., as president and Frank Willis as secre- 
tary. F. M. Johnson was the other member. These bodies were 
both active, and in 1891 the horticultural society received a pre- 
mium of five hundred dollars for its exhibit at the State Fair. 
Many orchards and vineyards were set out in various parts of the 
county, and many experiments were made along horticultural lines. 
Prunes proved to be the most certain and the most profitable crop, 
and they outdistanced all other fruits in acreage, as well as in 
record of profits. 

In the spring of 1894, P. V. Berkey, J. W. Bowden, J. C. Bedell 
and Joseph Boedefeld set out forty thousand prune trees on the 
east side of the river. Take the Boedefeld orchard as an example 
of what these orchards have done and are doing. It consists of 
forty acres situated on the overflow lands two miles back from 
the river. It ordinarily produces about one hundred forty tons of 


prunes, which this year sold for seven cents a pound, on an average, 
or one hundred forty dollars a ton. The Berkey orchard did as 
well or better. In 1911, W. C. Roberts got eight hundred eighty-five 
dollars and five cents from two acres of prunes. The same year six 
thousand three hundred eighty pounds of prunes from a half acre 
on the Laux place on the east side sold for three hundred dollars. 
Last year the Strickland prune orchard of six acres produced three 
thousand one hundred dollars' worth of fruit, which explains why 
the Strickland ten-acre ranch recently sold for eight thousand dol- 
lars. These figures also explain why four hundred fifty thousand 
prune trees have been set out in the county in the past four years. 
In 1914, W. A. Yerxa imported two hundred fifty thousand young 
prune trees from France, and had them all sold before they arrived. 
The prune industry seems to have "arrived" in this county. 
There are a number of orchards in the county containing from two 
hundred to three hundred acres each. 


Of all of its horticultural products, Colusa Coimty is best 
known for its almonds. And speaking of almonds, one thinks of 
Arbuckle; not because Arbuckle produces all the almonds grown 
in the county, or produced the first ones, but because it is an almond 
center, and because it advertises. The way Arbuckle got started 
in the almond business reads something like this: C. H. Locke 
was a Montana miner transplanted to Arlnickle. His periscope and 
other observation ajijiaratus being of good quality and in good 
working order, he observed that the oak trees about Arbuckle 
bore immense crops of nuts, sometimes known as acorns. From 
this he reasoned that the Arbuckle country must be a good nut 
country. In fact, it was he who discovered that Arbuckle is the 
home of the nut, a discovery that his successors in interest have 
made much of. In 1892, Mr. Locke, acting upon the above-men- 
tioned theory, planted twenty-one acres to almonds, which grew 
and thrived and bore heavily. Under such circumstances the neigh- 
bors generally follow suit, sometimes so quickly that some of them 
think the}' did it first, and claim the credit. But Mr. Locke's neigh- 
Ijors didn't rush matters. In the next fifteen years after he showed 
them how, they put out only seventy-five acres of trees, including 
his twenty-one aexes. Then 1907 came, and the Reddington ranch 
was subdivided and put on the market. The next year fifty acres 
of trees were set out, and the almond boom was on. In 1910, D. 
S. Nelson struck the town, and the almond boom at once increased 
its speed. Mr. Nelson organized the Superior California Fruit 
Lands Company, and jiroceeded to make almond history. The 


H^Tnan tract was subdivided, and in 1911 forty thousand trees were 
set out, besides a lot of vines. That same year the Arbuckle Al- 
mond Growers' Association was organized, and the marketing end 
of the business was put on a business basis. From that day to 
this the industry has been steadily growing, and today there are 
five thousand two hundred acres in almonds in the Arbuckle dis- 
trict, with forty thousand trees, or eight hundred acres, to be 
planted next spring. 

A. M. Newland, residing three miles north of Colusa, was the 
pioneer almond-grower of the county. Mr. Newland came to this 
county as a small boy in 1853. Ten years later they set out a few 
almond trees, and later added to these till there was quite an 
orchard. In the course of time the trees got old and were dug up, 
and the present orchard was planted in the year 1889. Mr. New- 
land's orchard, being along the river, of course suffers considerably 
from frost. In the twenty-eight years of its life, at least half of 
the crops have been thus destroyed ; but Mr. Newland says that if 
he gets a crop only once in every three or four years it pays better 
than to sow the land to barley. The Newland orchard contains 
forty acres; and when the frost does not catch it, the yield is 
heavier than from any other orchard in the county. 

Mr. Newland is the originator of the Eureka almond, a species 
that has the size and flavor of the Jordan combined with a soft 
shell. It has not been planted as widely as it deserves, because it 
is not adapted to all conditions and has not been advertised; but 
it bids fair to be one of the leading varieties of the state. 

A. Fendt, whose land adjoins that of Mr. Newland, followed 
the example of the latter and set out an orchard of almonds about 
the year 1905; and the trees have made a wonderfully thrifty 
growth. Being near the river, it, too, has suffered from frost; 
but worse than that, it has been attacked by the root knot and 
Mr. Fendt is digging up many of the trees. 


There is little more to be said of commercial fruit-growing in 
the county, because there is little more fruit grown on a commercial 
scale. There are two orange orchards of nine acres each, both on 
the edge of Colusa, one belonging to Col. John T. Harrington and 
the other to District Attorney Alva A. King. Part of Colonel 
Harrington's trees are thirty-five years old, and he has a few seed- 
lings forty years old, planted at the same time as those in the court- 
house yard. From this orchard as many as two thousand boxes 
of fruit have been taken in a year, some of the older trees produc- 
ing four hundred boxes per acre. For many years Colonel Har- 
rington's entire crop was taken by the Palace Hotel in San Fran- 


cisco, because it was superior to auy other oranges produced in the 
state. Another significant fact is, that Colusa County oranges 
took the prize at the Midwinter Fair in San Francisco in 1894. 
Mr. King's orchard, better known as the Cooke orchard, was 
planted by the late J. B. Cooke about fifteen years ago. The trees 
are hardly in full bearing yet, but have produced twenty-five hun- 
dred boxes in a year. These are the only orchards in the county 
that ship oranges ; and the present prospects are that they will be 
the only orchards for some time, as there seems to be but little 
interest in oranges just now. 


Although not known at all as a producer of lemons, Colusa 
County is said to have the largest lemon orchard in the world. In 
1912 James Mills, an extensive fruit-grower of the South, bought 
the Houx ranch, four miles west of Maxwell, and proceeded to 
establish a lemon principality. He had concrete pipe made on the 
premises and laid so as to carry water to the tops of all the rolling 
hills, of which the ranch is largely composed, leaving openings 
at convenient points for bringing the water to the surface and eon- 
ducting it through contour ditches to the roots of the trees. A 
tract of four hundred acres was planted to lemons that first year, 
and that acreage has been added to since, until there are seven 
hundred twenty-four acres in all. The older trees have begun to 
bear, and Colusa County has been, for the past year or two, a 
shipper of a car load or two of lemons. The Mills orchard also 
contains forty acres of oranges, two hundred forty acres of 
almonds, and twenty acres of pomeloes, all non-bearing. 

Peaches and Apricots 

In the year 1880, W. L. Cotter planted four acres of peaches 
and apricots on his ranch four miles south of Arbuckle. They 
thrived wonderfully, and for a time created some excitement over 
the fruit prospects in that neighborhood. For some reason or 
other, however, Mr. Cotter's example was not widely followed, 
and the Arbuckle district is not yet famous as a peach or apricot 
district, although there are about fifty acres of the former and 
about one hundred acres of the latter in the district at present. 

A. S. McWilliams planted the first apricot orchard about 
Colusa. That was in 1884, and for a time apricots were a "lead- 
ing industry" about the county seat. But as the trees grew old 
they did not do so well, and the orchard was dug up about ten 
years ago. J. B. DeJarnatt, P. ^". Berkey, H. Alilf, and others also 
tried apricots; and for man}' years it was a familiar sight on the 


streets of Colusa iu apricot season to see a spring wagon loaded 
with the best girls in town, bound for the apricot orchards to 
"work in the fruit." But a change seemed to come over the 
spirit of the people, and it became very hard to get girls to help 
with the apricots ; so Mr. Berkey planned to pull up the last of his 
apricot orchard, although the trees bore aliuudantly this year. 
The Ahlfs, however, still dry a few apricots. 

So the apricot perished from the earth, as far as production 
commercially in most of Colusa County is concerned ; and the peach 
has suffered the same fate. The most magniticent peaches on earth 
can be grown here, but many of the peaches we use are brought 
down from Glenn County or over from Sutter County. Why should 
we worry with peaches, anyway, when we can put out a patch of 
rice and in five months have several thousand dollars with whieli 
to buy peaches? 


The history of the Bartlett pear industry has been about the 
same as that of ])eaches and apricots. Along in the eighties the 
business had a boom along the river, where the land and the climate 
are well adapted to pears. Henry Ahlf, Joseph Boedefeld, Hagar 
& Tuttle, P. V. Berkey, J. B. DeJarnatt, John Boggs, T. C. Hub- 
bard, Perry Wills, and others planted pears ; and for a time the 
returns were all that anyone could wish. In those days pears were 
only fifteen dollars to twenty dollars a ton, but the yields were so 
abundant that the growers were well satisfied. Then came the 
pear blight, which was epidemic in the state; and in spite of all 
that the growers did, their orchards were practically ruined and 
had to be dug up. The Ahlf, Hubbard and Boedefeld orchards 
were the only ones that survived ; and one of those, the Hubbard 
orchard, was dug up a couple of years ago by J. L. Langdon, who 
had come into possession of it. This leaves only the Ahlf and 
Boedefeld orchards today. The Boedefeld orchard is out on the 
overflow lands and does not produce so well ; but the Ahlf orchard, 
which is near the river, yields an average of three hundred boxes 
of fruit per acre. As pears have been selling for from forty to 
sixty dollars a ton, it will be seen that they are a profitable crop 
to those who take care of them. 

W. G. Henneke, who lives near Cooks Springs, has about ten 
acres in pears and realizes well on them. F. B. Pryor has a small 
orchard on Grapevine Creek, which produces well ; Imt like Mr. 
Henneke 's orchard, it is so far back in the hills that marketing the 
crop is expensive. 



J. C. Westfall is the wahmt king of this county. lu 1907 he 
got a picture in his mind of a nice twelve-acre orchard of Euglisli 
wahiuts that he hoped to have. Then he planted a black walnut 
tree in each spot where an English walnut had been in the picture 
in his mind. Two years later he grafted English walnut buds 
on the black walnut trees ; and then he watched them grow. The 
fiirst year the grafts grew thirteen feet. The second year the nuts 
took a prize at the State Fair, and people began to ask Mr. "West- 
fall how to grow walnuts. Four years after grafting, the twelve 
acres produced tifty sacks of nuts that took all the prizes they were 
entered for, and Mr. Westfall was recognized as an authority on 
walnuts. In 1911, Mr. Westfall grafted two acres more ; and since 
then he has added still further to his acreage. 

Hugh L. Dobbins is about the only other man in the county 
who is interested in the walnut as a commercial possibility. Mr. 
Dobbins has conducted a small walnut nursery in Colusa for several 
years past, and next spring will set out ten acres to walnuts on 
the Swinford tract east of town. Some attempt was made a few 
years ago to start an orchard at Arbuckle, but it never amounted 
to much. There may have been other attempts, but there are no 
other orchards. There are, however, many individual trees, or rows 
of trees, the product of which is sold. 

Figs, PJuiiis (Did Apples 

There are two small fig orchards in the county. One of these is 
an orchard of four or five acres a mile north of Colusa. This 
orchard belongs to Richard Bayne, and is cultivated by Emil St. 
Louis. It is an orchard of black figs, and it produces well and is 
highly profitable. The trees were planted twenty-seven years ago, 
and now yield in prodigal jjrofusion. W. C. Roberts also has one 
acre of figs, from which he has taken four tons of fruit in a year. 

Alilf brothers have about twenty acres in shipping plums on 
their ranch on the east side ; and the success they have had has in- 
terested a number of others, who will plant plum trees next spring. 

The other fruits that I have mentioned, and possibly still 
others, are grown in yards or family orchards throughout the 
county, biTt are of no especial interest to the reader of history. 
There are some small apple orchards in the hills in the western 
]iart of the county, but very little of their product is marketed out- 
side of the countv limits. 



Mining and Quarrying 

Colusa County cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be 
called a mining county. It has some mines, and it has had some 
mining stampedes ; but it is luckj^ that it does not have to depend 
entirely on the income from its mines for its wealth, for the 
mining industry in this county has been more or less of a fizzle. 
It is true that several compartments in the county recorder's 
office are filled with the articles of incorporation of mining com- 
panies; but mining companies are not mines. The fact of the 
matter is, there has been much more money put into the mines 
of this county than has ever lieen taken out of them, although 
the same thing could be said, proliably, of mines in general. 

Small quantities of copper, coal, quicksilver, gold, silver, oil, 
sulphur, salt, limestone, and chrome ore have been produced in 
the county; but none of these has been obtained in very profitable 
amounts. No better history of the early mining activities in the 
county could be given than that written by Julius Weyand and 
published in the Rogers history some years ago ; and I reproduce 
it here: 

"Copper. — About November 1, 1863, the first discovery of 
copper was made in township seventeen north, range six west, 
on south side of Little Stony Creek, by F. M. Rice and J. B. 
Turner, in finding a large nugget of native copper, and also 
rock containing considerable copper, on the grounds located by 
the discoverers and five of their friends as the Mary Union claim. 

"The news brought within a few days many of the people 
from Colusa and the county at large, and also people from other 
parts of the state, to the locality. 

"On November 4, 1863, the Commonwealth Mining District 
was formed. The Mary Union lode was traced in southern and 
northern course, and claims were located as follows : 1, Extension 
Copper Hill; 2, Blue Hill; 3, Colusa; 1, Little Giant; 5, Sacra- 
mento; all south of Mary Union. On the north were: 1, North 
Star; 2, Indian Valley; 3, Grand Island; this comprised thirty- 
seven thousand two hundred feet on that ledge or lode, or seven 
miles long in distance by six hundred feet wide. Separate lodes 
were found and claims located, as: The Eagle, the Blazing Star, 
the Wyandotte, the Lion, the Settlers' Claim and the Pioneer. A 
town was surveyed and laid out on the twenty-eighth section, 
township seventeen north, range six west, by Judge H. "\V. Dun- 


lap and others, named Ashton, east of Little Stony, situated on 
lands now owned by Josh. C. Smith and Jonathan Ping, two 
hotels, two stores, livery stable, blacksmith shop and mining offices 
constituting the town. 

"Further discoveries required the formation of districts as 
follows : 

"Stony Creek District, December 24, 1863; St. John District, 
January 2, 1864; Snow Mountain District, January 5, 1864; 
Pacific Mining District, February 6, 1864; Mountain District, 
March 14, 1864; Lane District, also in March, 1864. In many of 
these locations the principals were: W. M. Rice, T. M. Rice, J. 
B. Turner, R. G. Burrows, James M. Berry, N. J. Greene, G. W. 
Keys, J. L. Howard, C. Dixon, J. Hop. Woods, Harrv Pevton, 
J. A. Rush, H. Fairchild, W. K. Estill, G. W. Ware, Amos 
Roberts, J. K. Weast, J. W. Lane, Gil. Roberts, Judge H. W. 
Dunlap, Fred Clay, Mart Gibson, H. A. Van Dorsten, A. d'Ar- 
tenay, William Johnson, J. J. Lett, H. Mitchum, W. M. Gassu- 
way, Dav. Lett, Henry McCausland, J. C. Johns, A. N. Greene, 
Thomas Votaw, W. W. Greene, D. A. Greene, Jackson Hart, 
L. H. Baker, Joseph Whitlock, J. W. Goad, Stewart Harris, 
W. W. Noble, Charles Denmark, G. W. Noble, Joseph Ingrira, 
Thomas Talbot, J. W. Brim, James Taggert, A. J. Slye, and 
Julius Weyand, all of Colusa County, besides many persons from 
adjoining counties and the state. 

"The agents of Flood & O'Brien, of San Francisco, had 
located a claim (the Ophir) running over and into the lines of 
the Mary LTnion Company, and a dispute arose between the 
parties, which was adjusted by a miners' meeting on February 4, 
1864, deciding that Flood & O'Brien had to abandon their loca- 
tion. The parties did do so at once, and left for San Francisco, 
and, as appeared afterwards, to the injury of the further explora- 
tion of the locality. Their instructions were to spend a large sum 
of money before they should give up the work. 

"The ores found in all this territory were native copper, red 
and black oxides, blue carbonates or indigo copper, and gray ore, 
the red oxides always carrying a tyace of gold, and the gray ore 
a small per cent, of silver. Assays run as high as tliirty-three 
per cent, copper. 

' ' Strata of ore were found all over the country, claimed to be 
well-defined ledges, and as such were locat|d, though hardly ever 
worked to prove their value. 

"All well-defined ledges ran from southeast to northwest. 

"The most work was done on the Mary Union, Copper Hill, 
the Colusa, the Sacramento, the Pacific, the Lion ; and all of them 
undoubtedly will develop into mines of value if worked properly. 


"Dui'iug the first excitenieut of. the new discovery, there were 
incorporated the following claims: 

Nov. 14, 1863, Mary Union Co., 1200 shares, at 10 $ 18,000 

Dec. 17, 1863, Colusa Co., 345 shares, at 100 34,.500 

Dec. 31, 1863, Pioneer Co., 3300 shares, at 5 16,500 

Jan. 8, 1864, Copper Hill Co., 4500 shares, at 5 22,500 

Jan. 25, 1864, North Star Co., 4500 shares, at 4 18,000 

Jan. 25, 1864, Blazing Star Co., 3900 shares, at 10 39,000 

Feb. 6, 1864, Pacific Co 

March 7, 1864, Sacramento Co., 5400 shares, at 5 27,000 

June 15, 1867, Lion Co., 5400 shares, at 20 108,000 

"The work in 1864 shows the Mary Union shaft about fifty 
feet and several cuts or short tunnels; the Copper Hill shaft, 
ninety-five feet ; the North Star tunnel, sixty feet ; the Lion shaft, 
forty-two feet, and incline about sixty-five feet. The quantity of 
ore was small, the quality good. In the fall of 1864 the develop- 
ment of the mines was not satisfactory to the stockholders, the 
assessments became delinquent, and a great portion of the stock 
had to be taken by the company, for the assessment. Outside 
mining speculators and prospectors paid no more attention to our 
mining region, from the date of the Flood & O'Brien agents leav- 
ing the locality, and our home capitalists and stockholders only of- 
fered to sell what they had, never offered to help develop the lodes. 

"Work was suspended for the season, and several attempts 
were made in 1865 to resume work; the only company continuing 
work was the Lion, which took out some fine ore. 

"A. d Artenay, the principal owner, had assays made on Lion 
ore. These appearing satisfactory, he made preparations for 
erection of smelting works near the mine. In 1866, when every 
preparation for the enterprise was arranged, he died. His 
brother, T. d 'Artenay, and Fred Schrieber, of Marysville, pro- 
ceeded in behalf of the company. Professor Isenbeck erected a 
fire-clay cupola furnace, steam engine for crushing ore and blast, 
at a great expense of money. The taking out of ore, hauling to 
smelt the ore and coal, and running the smelting works, were only 
commenced when the furnace failed to do the work. A steady 
flow of the molten mass could not be accomplished; several trials 
were attempted, but all failed, and the furnace was declared unfit 
to smelt this kind of ore. Coffee & Risdon, of San Francisco, 
offered to put up a Haskell iron, water-lined furnace, warranting 
the same to smelt the Lion ore profitably and satisfactorily. The 
company agreed to their jiroposition, and the furnace was erected, 
and put under the management of their agents, Messrs. Johnson 
and Norcross, both being experienced smelters. They could run 
out a few copper brick in good shape; but after one or two hours' 
run, the metal would chill or freeze, and the furnace had to be. 
cleared of the substance causing the failure. This proved to be 


asbestos, wliidi does uot melt uor flow off, and, when completely 
covering the surface of the furnace, will prevent its flow. 

"Mr. Norcross gave his opinion that only a reverberatory 
furnace of the Swansea pattern could successfully and profitably 
smelt this quality of ore. The Haskell furnace was shipped back 
to San Francisco, and other attempts to smelt this ore have not 
been made since ; the trustees continued to develop their lode, and 
as their ore, assayed by State Assayer Hanks, showed twenty-one 
l^er cent, copper, they shipped several tons to San Francisco in 
1876, but did not realize enough for cost of production. The 
company has a quantity of ore on the dump, but cannot figure 
out a profit to keep at work, and therefore have suspended. 

"In 1877 J. W. Brim, Jackson Hart, George Heath and W. 
K. Aldersley took several tons of ore from the Mary Union and 
Copper Hill grounds and shipped it to San Francisco, but failed 
to pay exi^enses and discontinued. 

"In 1880, E. A. Frenzel, H. Gehrt, G. W. Hopkins, and James 
W. Warwick relocated claims on the Mary Union and Copper Hill 
grounds, working two seasons, finding new deposits, and running 
a tunnel to main lode, but suspended work to await a better value 
of copper. 

"In 1883, J. L. Jordan, of Santa Eosa, and J. W. Cook, now 
of Maxwell, relocated the grounds of the Colusa Company, work- 
ing some time ; but they suspended, and since that time nothing 
has been done in these mines. 

"Coal was discovered in the foothills on the road between 
McMichael's, in Antelope, and G. C. Ingrim's, in Bear Valley, in 
the spring of 1855, by Isaac Howell and son; but no developments 
were made. 

"In 1865, J. B. Turner also found coal on the left bank of 
Little Stony Creek, near Ashtou, of good quality, but never devel- 
oped any of the seams. 

"In 1882, E. S. Ashley, in Antelope Cafion, one half mile 
east bi Sites, found coal of fine quality. A tunnel was started to 
examine the extent of the deposit; but this not appearing satis- 
factory, work was stopped. 

"In 1887, John Arnett discovered a good vein on Little Stony 
Creek, two miles southeast of Smithville. Not considering it 
profitable, no further exploration was made by him. As coal 
exists in many places in the western part of the county, the dis- 
covery of large deposits will depend on the pospector of a future 

"Gold and Silver.— In 1864, J. W. Brim, J. K. Weast and 
others found quartz containing both metals on Trout Creek, at 
the foot of Snow Mountain, situated a few miles west of Fonts 


Springs. They put up an arrastra aud worked a few months ; but 
returns not being satisfactory, they suspended. 

' ' About the same time the Manzanita mine, at Sulphur Creek, 
was worked by Woodruff Clark and William Cherry, for gold, 
paying fairly well. There were other silver claims prospected, 
namely, the Foolcatcher, by San Francisco parties, but only to a 
very small extent. 

"Quicksilver was discovered in 1865, in the western part of 
Bear Valley, and across the line in Lake County. 

"The Abbot mine for several years paid well. The Ingrim, 
Buckeye and Sulphur Creek were developed and beginning to pay 
a profit, when the price of the metal fell to fifty per cent, of for- 
mer values, and the production was not profitable. J. Purth, J. 
W. Brim, J. Hart, W. S. Green, G. C. Ingrim and others were 
prominent in that industry. Their works were closed and have 
never been reopened. 

* "Sulphur exists in large deposits at Sulphur Creek, whence 
Johnson, of Sulphur Creek, shipped a great quantity in 1866 and 
1867. The shipment is now discontiniied. 

"Petroleum was found in many places in Antelope and Bear 
Valley in Fel)ruary, 1865. The Lane Mining District was organ- 
ized at that time. Quite an excitement was created by the news, 
and people came rushing to the hills to locate claims, and to bore 
for oil. Louis Lewis bored with hand-drills, on what is known as 
the Glotzbach place, on Freshwater, a well about four hundred 
feet deep, the same now being a flowing well emitting a strong 
inflammable gas, burning freely if conducted through a funnel and 
set afire. The oil was not in sufficient quantity, and the gas could 
not be used profitably ; so the place was deserted by Lewis. 

"Hughes and Mrs. Warner, of Sacramento, used a steam en- 
gine in boring for oil at Mr. Lane's, now McMichael's place. 
They never succeeded in finding oil worth mentioning. 

■ "Taylor, of Virginia City, bored at the Gilmore ranch, in 
Bear Valley; and several others bored in different places in the 
foothills. Not being successful, they suspended work, and no new 
effort has been made since to prospect for oil. 

"Chrome Ore. — This ore was discovered in township nineteen 
north, range six west, on Big Stony Creek, by J. P. Rathbun, 
William Needham and others, several years ago. 

"Several shipments of the ore were made; its quality was 
reported to be good, but the work was discontinued from some 
cause not known. A mine is now being opened southwest of 

"Limestone was also found by Rathlmn Brothers, in town- 
ship sixteen north, range five west, two miles north of Leesville, 




on the ludiau Valley road, in 1878. They erected a limekiln and 
burned lime of very good quality ; but the limited demand in the 
vicinity was the cause for stopping further prosecution of work. ' ' 

It will be noticed that Mr. Weyand says that after the little 
excitement of 1865 no new effort was made to prospect for oil. 
Mr. Weyand's statement was made in 1890, and was true at that 
time; but ten years later the western part of the county was in 
the midst of one of the greatest oil excitements it had ever known. 
In 1901 nineteen oil companies filed articles of incorporation with 
the county clerk, and there were dozens of individual prospectors 
and locators of claims. Somebody had found a little pool of oil 
seeping through the groimd at the edge of Bear Creek, between 
the lower end of Bear Valley and the mouth of Sulphur Creek. 
At once the theory was developed that this was boiling up from 
an immense reservoir of oil down beneath the surface of the earth, 
and men made haste to be among those who would share in the 
tapping of this great reservoir of oil and wealth. Borings were 
made, not only in the viciuity of the first discovery, but as far 
away as the Mountain House; and it took four or five years to 
discourage the prospectors. One company kept on for nearly ten 
years, but finally gave it up. This was the Williams Oil Com- 
pany, which had between six hundred and seven hundred acres 
of land leased, and drilled at least three wells. 

A deposit of mineral paint was found on Little Stony Creek, 
near Cooks Springs, in 1909, and the Ruby King Mining, Town- 
site & Improvement Company was formed to develop it. Owing 
to inadequate transportation facilities, the mine has never been 
developed to any great extent ; but it may yet prove to be a pay- 
ing investment. 

When the war sent prices soaring in 1914, interest was re- 
vived in the cinnabar mines of Sulphur Creek, and work was 
resumed in some of the mines there. An account of the Manzanita 
and Cherr}' mines will be found elsewhere in this volume. 


In 1892, six years after the railroad was completed to Sites, 
a quarry was opened up a half mile east of the town; and from 
there some of the finest building stone ever seen in the state has 
been shipped. The Colusa Sandstone Company was the first to 
operate; but a few years later John D. McGilvray, the man who 
put up the buildings at Stanford University, opened up a second 
quarry and shipped hundreds of tons of Colusa sandstone to San 
Francisco, where it was used in some of the finest buildings in 
the city, or any citj\ The Ferry Building, the Spreckels Building, 


the Emporium Building, and tlie Kohl Building are some of those 
in which Colusa sandstone was used; and it was found at the time 
of the great fire in 1906 that this stone resisted heat better than 
any other stone used in the city. 

In 1905 the quarries produced 118,051 cubic yards of sandstone, 
worth $289,451. For some years before the Colusa & Lake Rail- 
road suspended operations, the quarries had not been doing much, 
as concrete had largely taken the place of stone in building; and 
when the railroad quit, the quarries were of course put entirely 
out of business. 



Local Ecop^mic Conditions Unfavorable to Manufacturing 

This chapter will necessarily have to be short. I am not sure 
but that it would have been more appropriately headed "Attempts 
at Manufacturing"; for it must be admitted that Colusa is not a 
manufacturing county. We produce immense cjuantities of raw 
material; but it is shipped as raw material, and the finished 
product is manufactured elsewhere. Continually we hear the 
cry, "What this town needs is a pay roll"; and every town in the 
county has answered the cry by establishing, or trying to estab- 
lish, a factory of some sort. Most of the attempts made, however, 
have met with failure. We have tried to turn our broom straw 
into brooms, but a larger town took the factory out of the county. 
We have tried to turn our timber into lumber, but the timber 
supply gave out. We have tried to turn our water into ice, but 
the trust gobbled us. We have tried to turn our paddy into rice, 
but capital avoided us. We have tried to turn our beets into 
sugar, our barley into beer, our fruit into cans; but something 
always happened, and kept happening, to thwart our desires. 
And so we've seen our fondest hopes decay, and again decay, with 
apparently no economic formaldehyde at hand to prevent or check 
the disintegration. A number of reasons might be cited in esijlan- 
ation of tliis state of affairs; but one reason overshadows all the 
rest: We haven't time to waste with manufacturing. 

Let me explain. Manufacturing requires a constant and plen- 
tiful supply of labor. Labor necessarily works for wages. But 
how are you going to get a man to work for wages when he can 
go to the edge of his home town, put in a crop, and for every grain 
he sows get a hundred grains a few months later ? For I want to 
submit this : Farming, under ideal conditions, is the most profit- 


able legitimate business on earth — except manufacturing Ford 
cars; and farming conditions, along many lines, are so nearly 
ideal in Colusa County that uoljody wants to fool away time and 
capital in a manufacturing concern that may, perhaps, pay six 
per cent, a year, when he can put in a crop and make five hundred 
per cent, on his investment in six months. To illustrate my point, 
take the rice business. It costs about thirty dollars an acre to 
plant and harvest a rice crop. An acre will i:)roduce, under good 
conditions, and has produced in this county many a time, sixty 
sacks of rice, worth at present three dollars per sack. That makes 
one hundred eighty dollars per acre, or six hundred per cent, on 
the investment. You have there the big reason why factories 
haven't made much headway in this county. There aren't enough 
poor people to work in them. 

SaicDiills and Flouring Mills 

The history of manufacturing in Colusa Co .ty goes back 
to 1852, when a man named Morrison built a combination grist and 
saw mill on the bank of the river about a mile below Sycamore. 
The sawmill made lumber out of the oak trees that grew in the 
neighborhood. But it wasn't good lumber; it warped badly, and 
when dry was so hard that you couldn't drive a nail into it. More- 
over, the oak trees were very hard to work; and as the supply 
was limited, they had to be brought from an increasingly long 
distance each year. So the sawmill part of the enterprise was 
abandoned after two or three years. The grist-mill, Jiowever, con- 
tinued to run for over thirty years ; but it now is also abandoned. 

And now that I have begun the discussion of grist-mills, or 
flouring mills, as they are more commonly called today, let me 
treat the subject in detail. Colusa has the honor of having the 
second flouring mill in the count3^ By the end of 1852 the lands 
along the river had been pretty well settled up; and there soon 
came to be a considerable production of wheat, as well as a growing- 
demand for flour. Dunlap & Turner built a sawmill in Colusa in 
1853 ; but, seeing that wheat was more plentiful than timber, and 
was becoming more plentifiul while timber was becoming scarcer, 
they soon took out the saws and changed their mill to a grist-mill. 
They made a brand of flour that captured the premium at the 
State Fair in 1867, and commanded a higher price than any 
other flour in the Marysville or Sacramento markets. The mill 
was often forced to run night and day to keep up with the 
demand. Charles Spaulding operated this mill for many years, 
but in 1874 J. D. Gage and Gil Jones bought it. Gage & Jones 
erected a new building, put in new machinery, and increased the 
already wide reputation of the Colusa mill; but the mill became 


worn out and obsolete, competition from more modern mills in 
neighboring towns pressed it closely, and it was finally abandoned 
and torn down. The lot where it stood has gone down the river, 
for it was located about one hundred feet northwest of the pres- 
ent foot of Sixth Street, where the middle of the river now is. 

Some time in the sixties, but just when, I have been unable 
to learn, a flour mill was built at Princeton, which continued to 
operate for over twenty years. It was run by steam and was 
what was called a burr mill; that is, one in which the grain is 
ground between revolving stones. By 1885 the old mill was 
about worn out ; and as its business was being absorbed by more 
modern mills, it was closed and later torn down. 

In 1863 John L. Smith settled near the junction of Big Stony 
Creek with Little Stony Creek, and laid out a town which he 
called Smithville. Evidently Mr. Smith came to share the gen- 
eral belief that every town needs a pay roll, for in 1878, fifteen 
years after his town was born, he built a flour mill, which was 
run by water from the Big Stony. This he operated till 1890, 
when he sold it, with the rest of his holdings, to the Stony Creek 
Improvement Comjiany. The company moved the mill to a 
better location, rebuilt it, and put in modern machinery; but as 
the boom they had planned for the town did not fully materialize, 
the mill was closed down after a few years. Lack of wheat was 
also responsible in part for the closing of the mill. 

The next community to tackle the flouring-mill business was 
"Williams. In 1879, a year after Mr. Smith built his mill at 
Stonyford, a company was formed at Williams to build a flour- 
ing mill. It was called the Williams Flouring Mill, and the capital 
stock was twentv-five thousand dollars. The directors were J. C. 
Stovall, H. P. Eakle, W. H. Williams, John Stanley and J. 0. 
Zumwalt. The business was highly successful, and would no doubt 
have continued to this day had not the mill burned down, leaving 
W'illiams without a mill for many years. 

The building of the Colusa & Lake Railroad in 1886 stimulated 
business in Colusa, and in the fall of that year a second flouring 
mill was begun in the town. It was. called "Sunset Flouring 
Mills," and was ready for the installation of machinery in Janu- 
ary, 1887. It turned out its first flour on April 5, 1887. On 
August 1, 1889, the Colusa Milling Company was incorporated 
with a capital stock of forty thousand dollars, and the Sunset 
Mills were bought of W. E. Browning & Company. The ofiQcers 
of the company were W. P. Harrington, president ; George Hagar, 
vice-president; E. C. Barrell, secretary; and J. C. Bedell, superin- 
tendent. The Colusa Milling Company continued to grow and 
prosper for twenty-seven years. In 1916 they sold out to the 


Colusa Milling tS: Grain Company, of which E. H. Weckbaugii is 
president and general manager. The mill is doing a very pros- 
perous business at present. 

In 1916 Williams decided to try the milling business again. 
The Williams Parmer had been repeatedly calling attention to 
the fact that Williams, although in the center of a great wheat- 
growing district, was buying its flour from outside. Finally the 
Williams Milling Company was formed, and a mill was built ad- 
joining the Southern Pacific tracks in the southeast part of town. 
It is a modernly equipped mill, with every facility for doing good 
work, and has established a good business. The directors who 
launched the project were H. W. Wakefield, Roy Welch, B. L. 
Fouch, W. W. Percival and W. C. Percival. 

Manufacture of Salt 

In the account of his exploring trip to Colusa County in 1844, 
John Bidwell mentions a salt lake which he found in the hills north 
of where the town of Sites now stands. The water was so salt 
that neither men nor horses could drink it, although they were 
almost famished for water. Peter Peterson afterward acquired 
the land about there and called it "Salt Lake Ranch." The pos- 
sibilities for making money from its saline water very early ex- 
cited the imagination of those who saw the lake. Salt was made 
there as early as 1860, but only in small quantity. In 1889 
J. P. Rathbun took up the work in earnest, and made several 
tons of salt; and the next year he made ten tons more. The 
water contained from fifteen to forty per cent, salt, and Mr. 
Rathbun was enthusiastic over the prospects. In 1892 the An- 
telope Crystal Salt Company was formed with fifty thousand dol- 
lars capital stock, and plans were made to manufacture salt on a 
large scale. The directors of the company were J. P. Rathbun, 
Peter Peterson, W. P. Harrington, W. S. Green, 6. B. Harden, 
P. H. Graham and R. DeLappe. The company did not get very 
far till it discovered that it could not make salt in competition 
with ocean-water salt, and the enterprise was therefore aban- 

Projects for a Sugar Factory 

I have told something of the attempts to establish a sugar 
factory in this county. The first attempt was made in 1895, 
and tlie second in 1896. Then the matter rested till 1905, when 
it was taken up with renewed vigor and one hundred thousand 
dollars was subscribed toward building a factory ; but this attempt 
also resulted in failure. After that the factory was built at Ham- 
ilton Citv; and as it will furnish a market for all the Colusa 


County beets that can be grown, this county will probably have to 
do without a sugar factory. 

Canning and Packing 

Beginning with 1884, the fruit industry about Colusa boomed. 
Many orchards of pears, peaches, prunes and apricots were 
planted up and down the river. No provision had been made for 
handling the fruit, however ; and there was much talk of a can- 
ning factory. Several preliminary meetings were held; and in 
April, 1889, the Colusa Canning, Drying and Packing Company 
was incorporated, with W. P. Harrington, W. T. Seville, L. L. 
liicok, E. A. Bridgford, J. B. DeJarnatt, F. W. Willis, and A. S. 
McWilliams as directors. The enterprise was launched with great 
enthusiasm; and that fall forty thousand five hundred sixty-six 
pounds of raisins, prunes and canned fruits were shipped. On 
August 15, 1891, the following aj^peared in a local paper concern- 
ing the cannery : 

"Twenty tons of fruit are now in the cannery,- and they 
expect to have fifty tons more. About sixty hands are employed 
at present, and one hundred more are wanted. The warehouse 
just now contains about forty thousand cans of fruit, and fifteen 
thousand cans have already been shipped East. The cannery peo- 
ple expect to ship about two hundred thousand cans altogether this 
season. They have finished with apricots and have just com- 
menced with pears. About the nicest peaches they have gotten so 
far came from the Henry Ahlf place on the east side of the 
river. " ' 

Less than three years after the above was written, the can- 
nery was a matter of history. It did not pay, and therefore 
operations were suspended. The Colusa Dried Fruit Company 
opened up for business in the brick building at Seventh and 
Market Streets in 1900, where it was operated for a few years; 
and then it, too, succumbed. 


So far as I know, there have been only three creameries in 
the county to date, although every little town ought to have one. 
On November 23, 1895, a representative of the Pacific Creamery 
Company came to Colusa to interest the dairymen in a coopera- 
tive creamery. He may have interested them, but he didn't 
establish a creamery at that time. On January 6, 1897, the Colusa 
Cream Association, headed by H. B. Turman, bought a lot on 
which to establish a creamery ; and in March following, the Colusa 
Creamery Company was incorporated with H. B. Turman, H. 


Morris. Frank "Wilkins, E. C. Peart, and U. W. Brown as directors. 
A creamery was built, and was operated for a year or two; but 
there weren't enough cows to keej) it going, and consequently it 
failed. Its building was on the north side of Market Street, be- 
tween Third and Fourth, and is now used as an ice house. 

In 1903 the Colusa Butter Companv was incorporated with 
L. L; Hicok, E. B. Vann, D. W. George," O. J. Kilgore, and J. H. 
Kilgore as directors. This company built a creamery and under 
the careful and skillful guidance of Mr. Hicok, operated it with 
success and protit till 1909, when it was bought by the Western 
Creameries Company and went into the great creamery trust that 
was being organized at that time. The trust proved to be a failure, 
"and in 1912 the Western Creameries Company sold its Colusa 
plant to M. A. Sickels, one of the best creamery men in the state, 
who is turning out every week about twelve thousand pounds of the 
finest butter that can be produced, butter for which the consumer 
has paid as high as sixty-two and a half cents a pound. 

In 1913 the Stonyford Creamery was organized with A. T. 
Welton, F. M. Kesselring, Bruce H. Sutlitf, W. E. Whitcher, and 
G. T. McGahan as directors. They built a fine little creamery, 
installed the latest machinery, and made a product that could not 
be improved ui^on. This creamery shut down for a year or two, 
but it has been reopened and is now in operation. 

Steam Laundries 

On March 20, 1895, J. E. Phillips opened a steam laundry in 
Colusa ; but Chinese competition killed it, and it had to close for 
lack of patronage and comi)eteut help. 

In 1911 John C. Mogk jiromoted and organized the Colusa 
Steam Laundry Association, with himself, G. A. Olson, Herman 
Jacobson, Wilson Scarlett, and B. C. Maves as directors. The new 
enterprise couldn't compete with the Orientals, however, and kept 
running behind each month till December, 1913, when the plant 
was sold to W. H. Graham. Mr. Graham has made a success of it, 
in spite of Aory ]ioor support by people who ought to patronize it. 
The assoriatidii assessed its members six dollars each to pay its 
debts, and (lisliaiided. 

Madam Bordes started a French steam laundry in 1911, but 
it burned down a year or two later and was not rebuilt. 

Ice Phmfs 

Colusa has also tried the ice business. In January, 1880, J. B. 
Cooke, of the Colusa Waterworks, began the manufacture of ice; 
but the venture did not pay and was discontinued. 


In January, 1907, Eybel & Webber bought a lot on Market 
Street ; and in "l908 Mr. Eybel organized the Colusa Meat & Cold 
Storage Company. W. C. Blean finished a ten-thousand-dollar 
concrete building for the company on January 1, 1909 ; and at once 
an ice and refrigerating plant was installed. The first ice was 
turned out on May 4, 1909 ; and for two years the business was 
apparently prosperous. Then the Union Ice Company came in, 
and an ice war began on May 1, 1911. The result was that in 
March of 1913 the Colusa Meat & Cold Storage Company leased 
its ice plant to the Union Ice Company, which closed it down ; and 
a perfectly good ice plant is now rusting in the basement of the 
building. That was the end of homemade ice for us. 

Irou and Steel Manufactures 

Factories for working iron and steel have been practically 
limited to the blacksmith shops. In 1882 the Williams Foundry 
and Machine Shop was organized by J. C. Stovall, W. H. Williams, 
Henry Husted, J. O. Zumwalt, J. G. Moyer, J. W. Woodland 
and F. M. Boardman, and did a modest business. 

In 1888 the people of Colusa were made to believe that their 
town was the proper location for a great factory for the making 
of farm machinery of all kinds. A firm named Gessner & Skinner 
were ready to undertake such an enterprise, provided the proper 
inducements were forthcoming. So the town got behind the project 
to the extent of at least a site for the building; and on February 
4, 1889, the Colusa Agricultural Works was put in operation for 
the purpose of turning out plows, wagons, buggies, traction engines 
and agricultural implements. Gessner & Skinner lasted about a 
year, aud then J. Grover had to take charge of the remains. He 
sold them in 1892 to Wulff & Lage ; and a short time later Frank 
Wulff bought his partner out. For twenty-one years Mr. Wulff 
conducted the Colusa Foundrv & Machine Shop. In 1914, after 
Mr. Wulff 's death, Mrs. Wulff leased the works to T. E. Maroney 
and H. S. Hern ; and they later bought it. Mr. Hern has retired 
from the business, and Mr. Maroney is now the sole proprietor. 

The Breuery 

About the year 1870 a brewery was started in Colusa. The 
first building was of wood, and was located near the corner of 
Main and Eighth Streets. Some years later a new brick building 
was erected at the corner of Main and Eighth. For many years, 
under the proprietorship of G. Kammerer, this brewery supplied 
much of the local demand for beer. It was sold in 1891 by the 
sheriff, to satisfy a mortgage; and since that time Colusa people 
have been compelled to drink imported beer if they drank any. 


Light, Poicer, and Water Companies 

On March 31, 1886, the town of Cohisa emerged from the 
coal-oil era and began the manufacture of gas. The Colusa Gas 
Company was organized, and began operation under the following- 
directors : J. W. Goad, D. H. Arnold, George Hagar, W. D. Dean, 
A. Bond and E. W. Jones. This company sold out to the Pacitic 
Gas & Electric Company when it came to Colusa in 1900, and the 
town still uses gas made on the premises. 

In 1909 C. K. Sweet launched the Williams Water & Electric 
Company, and supplied the town of Williams with light, power 
and water. 

Manufacture of Brooms 

There have been two attempts to establish a broom factory in 
Colusa. The first attempt was made in 1893 by William Prater, of 
Red Bluff; and the second, in 1909, when J. W. Van AVinkle made 
broojns for a time in J. C. Mogk's warehouse, near the old Colusa 
waterworks. After being here a few months, Mr. Van Winkle 
moved his factory to Sacramento. 

Manufacture of Poultry Supplies 

In March of 1912, M. C. Rogers, George Ash, W. H. Ash, G. C. 
Comstock, and A. H. Burns incorporated the Rogers Manufactur- 
ing Company at Williams, for the manufacture of portable, sani- 
tarj' chicken houses and other poultry supplies. The company was 
moved to Sacramento last year, depriving this county of one of 
its chief factories. 

Other Projects 

It would be practically impossible to mention all the factories 
of various kinds that almost got going in the county. There were 
dozens of them, and one of the most prominent was a rice mill for 
Colusa. This project has been agitated two or three times since 
the rice industry came; but the greatest effort was made in 1913, 
when a permit was obtained from the state authorities to sell stock. 
The response, however, was far from encouraging; and in 1915 
the permit was revoked. 

In 1895 W. W. Felts, E. F. Peart, G. F. Scott, J. K. Barthol- 
omew, C. C. Felts, G. B. Harden, E. E. Scott, W. F. Ford, and 
U. W. Brown organized the Felts Electric Light & Power Company, 
for the purpose of making and putting on the market a wonderful 
new electric battery that had been invented by Editor W. W. Felts. 
The battery did not materialize as a commercial proposition. 

In 1899 C. D. Stanton, H. H. Seaton, A. F. Shriver, G. F. Scott, 
and U. W. Brown organized the Western Acetylene Gas Company, 


principal place of business, Aiimekle, for tlie purpose of manu- 
facturing and installing- acetylene gas plants. They did some 
business, including the fitting out of the Golden Eagle Hotel in 
Colusa with an acetylene plant, but not enough to keep the wolf 
from the door. 

In 1907 A. S. Lindstrom, C. H. Glenn, C. R. Wickes, B. H. Bur- 
ton, Tennent Harrington, M. J. Boggs, and H. C. Stovall organized 
the Snow Mountain Electric Power Company, for the purpose of 
putting in an electric power plant just where the north fork of 
Stony Creek enters the main stream. They built a fine mountain 
road from Fouts Springs to the site of the power house, and then 
abandoned the work. 

This chapter will have to end somewhere, and it may as well 
end here. Other corporations and enterprises, not of a manufac- 
turing nature, will be mentioned in a later chapter, under head of 
the various towns in which thev are located. 




Colusa County worried along for twelve years, in the begin- 
ning, without a newspaper. The Colusa Sun was the first paper 
ever published in the county. It was founded on January 1, 1862, 
bv Charles R. Street, who published it till some time in the summer 
of 1863, when he sold it to T. J. Andus. On September 26, 1863, Mr. 
Andus sold it to Will S. Green and John C. Addington; and in 
1873 Stephen Addington bought half of his brother's half interest, 
and thereafter edited the paper whenever Mr. Green chanced to be 
away. In 1886 the Colusa Sun Publishing Company was formed, 
and it has since published the paper. For many years the Sun 
was a weekly paper ; but when in 1889 the Daily Gazette appeared, 
the Sun was forced to meet the competition, and on November 1, 
1889, its first daily edition appeared. It also issued a semi-weekly 
in connection with the daily, and later changed the semi-weekly 
to a tri-weekly, which, with the daily, it now issues. Will S. Green 
was editor and guiding spirit of the paper until his death in 1905, 
and since that time Mrs. Green has had editorial charge. Jack 
McCune has been in charge of the mechanical department for the 
past twenty-five years, and has made the paper mechanically one 
of the best in the state. The Sun has had a decided influence on 
the shaping of affairs in Colusa County in the last half century. 
It has always been radically Democratic in politics. 


The Colusa ludepeudeut was established in 1873. It lived 
almost four years, passing away in 1877. 

The Colusa Herald was started as a Bepublican weekly in 
July, 1886, by Jacobs & King. Mr. King sold out his interest to 
Frank Eadcliffe, and the paper later passed to C. D. Radeliffe. 
S. H. Callen owned it for a short time, but in 1897 John L. Allison 
bought it. In 1900 the ownership was transferred to a stock com- 
pany, of which J. L. Allison, G. A. Ware, James Balsdon, A. A. 
Thayer and G. C. Comstock were directors. On July 25, 1900, 
Mr. Allison made a daily of the Herald, and for a time Colusa had 
three dailies. On January 1, 1905, the paper was changed back 
to a weekly ; and on June 1 of that year it was sold to C. D. 
McComish, who continued it as a weekly till May, 1910, when it 
was changed to a semi-weekly. On February 1, 1916, Mr. McComish 
sold the Herald to Tompkins & Harriss, who came from Lexington, 
Ky., to take charge of it. They still own it, and have made a tri- 
weekly of it, adding a telegraph news service. 

The Colusa Daily Gazette was established in 1889, making 
its first appearance on August 23. Its editor and publisher was 
E. I. Fuller, and he led about as exciting a life as could be found 
off the melodramatic stage. Mr. Fuller's literary forte was criti- 
cism, sometimes of a very caustic nature. His wife kept a tamale 
parlor; and his paper was generally, almost universally, called 
the "Tamale Wrapper." The Herald referred to the Gazette as 
E. I. Fooler's blacksmith shop; and although I have never seen 
a copy of the Gazette, I could till the rest of my space with stories 
of this eccentric editor's antics. The paper ceased publication 
about 1901. 


The first newspaper to be established in Williams was called 
the Central News. It was first issued on February 20, 1882, and 
was edited by G. B. Henderson. It was not well supported, and 
didn't last long. 

The Williams Farmer is the onlv paper that has ever made 
a success of the publishing business in that town. It was started 
by S. H. Callen on August 18, 1887, and at first was a sis-column 
four-page paper. Later Mr. Callen got a cylinder press so small 
that it wouldn't print a six-column paper; so he changed the 
Farmer to a four-column eight-page paper. In 1890 he sold a half 
interest to George W. Gay, but in 1892 bought it back again. Mr. 
Callen died on July 24, 1911, since which time Mrs. Callen has leased 
the paper to various parties. R. R. Kingsley, H. M. Keene, and 
J. P. Hall are among those who have directed the destinies of the 


Farmer at different times since 1911. Leo H. Bowen is the present 
lessee. Under Mr. Callen the Farmer was a Democratic paper, but 
of recent years it has been independent in politics. 

The Williams Enterprise was established in 1911 by E. E. 
Kingsley, who had been an employe on the Farmer. After a few 
months of precarious existence, the Enterprise was throttled by 
its owner, who leased the Farmer for a time, and then suddenly 
left town. For a time afterwards there was a good deal of specu- 
lation as to what had become of him, but he finally turned up 
down about the bay cities. 


Arbuckle has had at least one newspaper ever since 1890. On 
April 4 of that year J. S. Taylor first issued the Arbuckle Autocrat. 
It was independent in politics; but in 1892 it supported the Pro- 
hibition party. Mr. Taylor some time later changed the name of 
the paper to the New Era ; and on January 1, 1899, he leased it to 
J. H. Hudson, who had established the Arbuckle Independent. 
W. W. Felts came into possession of the paper about 1902, and 
changed the name to Arbuckle Planter. Mr. Felts continued as 
proprietor till 1909, when he sold the paper to J. P. Hall. Mr. 
Hall changed the name once more, this time to the Arbuckle Ameri- 
can. He made it a very live and interesting paper, and is still 
the editor and i:)ublisher. The American has had a big part in 
making Arbuckle a widely known almond center. 


Just when Maxwell's first paper was started I do not know ; but 
it was some time prior to 1881, for in that year W. W. Felts, a 
veteran newspaper man, and James H. Hodgen bought the Maxwell 
Star. It continued publication only three or four years after the 
change of ownership, and then passed away and left the field clear 
for the Maxwell Mercury, which was first issued on July 14, 1888, 
by John G. and Charles C. Overshiner. The Mercury struggled 
along for a few years ; and then it, too, gave up the ghost, leaving 
Maxwell without a paper till 1912. In January of that year 
Harden & Hardwicke started the Maxwell Tribune, with George 
B. Harden, prominent business man, capitalist and booster, in the 
editorial chair. Mr. Hardwicke soon dropped out of the combina- 
tion, and thereafter Mr. Harden ran the paper alone for several 
years, making it one of the most interesting news sheets in the 
valley. The patronage wasn't sufficient, however, to support the 
kind of paper Mr. Harden was making, and the Tribune last year 


suspended publication. L. H. Boweu, of the AVilliams Farmer, 
leased the plant a few months ago, and has revived the Tribime, 
doing the printing at the Williams Farmer office. 


Grimes has had two papers within the past seven years. On 
March 3, 1911, the Grimes Record was first issued, the editor and 
publisher being J. P. Hall, of the Arbuckle American, and the 
printing being done in the American office. Mr. Hall, who liad also 
established a paper at Meridian, soon decided that one country 
newspaper can make all the trouble any ordinary mortal needs; 
and so he discontinued all his papers except the American. About 
six months ago, L. H. Bowen decided to try his hack in Grimes ; he 
established the Grimes Independent, which is still being published, 
the work being done at the office of the Williams Fai-mer. 


Princeton has also had at least two newspapers. In March, 
1905, the Princeton New Era was launched by Joel H. Ford. The 
printing of the paper was done at the Colusa Sun office. After a 
few months, however, the New Era died of inanition, and since 
then Princeton has been without a paper, except that in 1914 Seth 
Bailey issued, from the Colusa Herald office, a few numbers of the 
Princeton Journal, and then gave up the attempt. 

County Editorial Association 

On September 28, 1889, the editors of the county met at Max- 
well and formed a County Editorial Association. This did not last 
long. About the year 1914, J. P. Hall again got the editors of the 
county together; but the association formed at that time also 
proved not to be permanent. 


Schools, Chubches, and Lodges 


Their school system is one of the things in which the people 
of this county take especial pride, and on which they spend money 
freely. The result is, that they have the very best schools obtain- 
able, both in material equipment and in teaching force. They pay 
liberal salaries, ranging from seventy-live dollars a month for the 


smaller country schools to sixteen hundred dollars a year for the 
principalships of some of the town grammar schools ; and for the 
high schools, from one thousand to twenty-one hundred dollars a 
year. Moreover, some of the best school buildings in the state are 
to be found in this county. 

The one great drawback to the progress of the rural schools 
of the county has been the immense size of the landholdings. F.or 
many years there was a tendency for the ranchers to add to their 
holdings rather than to cut up the ranches and sell them off to 
small holders. This of course made farm homes few and far be- 
tween ; and as a result the history of some of the rural school dis- 
tracts has been a record of a constant series of lapses and re- 
vivals, while others have lapsed and have never been revived. In 
1891, according to Will S. Green, there was a stretch of territory 
extending from Colusa north along the river for fifty-tive miles to 
Tehama, containing two hundred seventy square miles,' in which 
there were only three school children attached to the land — that 
is, belonging to landowners. Similar conditions have obtained in 
all parts of the county ever since the tirst settlement, and in some 
sections will probably continue to exist for years to come. The 
dislike that most people have for solitude, and the consequent 
tendency to move to town, where the social advantages are 
greater, have also been hard on the country schools. Take Bear 
A^alley for example : For many years two flourishing schools were 
maintained in the valley, one near Leesville and one at the lower 
end of the valley. The school in the lower end lapsed about 1907, 
and has never been revived; and today there are hardly children 
enough in the entire valley to maintain the Leesville school. Many 
other rural sections have suffered in the same way. 

For ten years after Colusa County was organized there wasn't 
a schoolhouse in the count}^, and for half that time there wasn't a 
school. This is not at all to be wondered at, for the early comers 
were grown-ups, and most of them were men. About 1855 enough 
children to form a school had gathered in Colusa, and a school 
was established in the courthouse, where it was held for five or six 
years. In 1861 School Trustee John H. Liening raised eight hun- 
dred dollars by public subscription, and a schoolhouse was built at 
Fourth and Jay Streets, the first one in the county. It was of 
brick, twenty-eight feet long and twenty feet wide, and served its 
purpose till 1871, when a ten-thousand-dollar building was erected 
on Webster Street, between Fourth and Fifth. This building, 
with an addition erected in 1875, was the one torn down this year 
to make room for the magnificent new building that is being 


During the ten years from 1861 to 1871 the number of school 
children in the county grew from twentj'-nine to five hundred fifty- 
nine, and the number of schoolhouses from one to eleven; but it 
must be remembered that the county then included what is now 
Glenn County. No figures for that time for the present Colusa 
County are available. In 1879 the number of children was two 
thousand seven hundred eighty-seven, and the number of schools 
sixty-two. In the meantime the secret of farming the plains by 
summer-fallowing had been discovered, the railroad had come, and 
the wide stretches of territory had been peopled, at least sparsely. 

In 1892, the year after the county was divided, there were 
thirty-eight schools, fifty teachers, and two thousand ninety-eight 
school children in the county; but since that time the number of 
children has gradually but steadily decreased in the rural dis- 
tricts, so that there are now over six hundred fewer children be- 
tween the ages of five and seventeen in the county than there were 
twenty-five years ago. Today there are fifty-three teachers in the 
elementary schools, besides three special music teachers and 
twentj'-five high school teachers; and the schools, under the en- 
thusiastic and efificient leadership of Miss Perle Sanderson, county 
superintendent, are keeping fully abreast of all progress in edu- 
cational methods. There are one thousand two hundred sixty 
pupils enrolled in the elementary schools, and two hundred thirty 
in the high schools. 

The county is particularly proud of its high schools. There 
are five of them, one each at Colusa, College City, Williams, Max- 
well and Princeton; and in physical equipment, personnel, and 
character of work they rank with the very best in the state. 
Colusa High School, which was established in 1893, has a teaching 
force of six and an enrollment of seventy-nine. In 190.3 a fine 
new building was erected, and since then manual training and 
domestic science have been added to the curriculum. Pierce Joint 
Union High School was established at College City in 1897, the 
buildings of Pierce Christian College being used. It has a faculty 
of five members and an enrollment of forty-four. Williams and 
Princeton High Schools were both established in 1909. The school 
at Williams has a faculty of five and an enrollment of forty-one. 
The school at Princeton is a joint union school, the district taking 
in part of Glenn County. It has a faculty of five and an enroll- 
ment of fifty-two. Maxwell, the youngest high school in the 
county, was established in 1912. Its teachers number four and its 
students, forty-two. Maxwell, Princeton and Williams have beau- 
tiful, modern buildings and thorough equipment. The Princeton 
buildings cost forty-two thousand dollars and the Maxwell build- 
ings, twenty-four thousand dollars. 


A number of private schools have been started in the county, 
but none has survived uninterruptedly. Only one is in existence 
now, St. Aloysius Convent School in Colusa. The first private 
school to be established was "Mrs. Clark's Select School for 
Young Ladies." In 1868 the first old brick school building in 
Colusa had been so far outgrown that all the pupils could not 
crowd into it. To meet the difficulty, Mrs. A. E. Clark organized 
her school for girls. Being unable to find quarters for it, she 
accepted the offer of the county supervisors to allow the use of 
their room in the courthouse; and her school was conducted there 
for two years, the supervisors holding their meetings in the 
county clerk's office. In 1870 Mrs. Clark bought a lot at Seventh 
and Jay Streets, and a building with accommodations for sixty 
pupils was erected for her. After a busy year in the new building, 
Mrs. Clark's health failed and she had to go East. The school 
was closed, but was later reopened in a building at First and Oak 
Streets, where it continued to run for ten or twelve years with 
varying success, finally closing permanently. 

Mrs. D. B. Lowery ojoened a kindergarten in the old Meth- 
odist Church on Oak Street, Colusa, in September, 1879, and con- 
tinued it for a few years, but finally gave it up and removed to 

The most famous private school the county has had was 
Pierce Christian College, a sectarian college under the auspices of 
the Christian denomination, at College City. The foimder of the 
college was Andrew Pierce, a Massachusetts Yankee who came to 
California in 1849. Mr. Pierce had been a shoemaker at home. 
In California he at first drove a freight team; but in 1855, after 
a trip back home, he settled down at the present site of College 
City and raised sheep. He was thrifty and frugal and soon be- 
came wealthy. In 1871, at the age of forty-eight, he died of con- 
sumption, leaving the bulk of his property for the founding of a 
college. Stejas were taken to carry out his i^lans ; and in Sep- 
tember, 1874, classes were begun in the church, the first college 
building being then under construction. In January, 1875, the 
college was moved into the new building, and the next year an- 
other larger building was completed. For many years the insti- 
tution was prosperous, the attendance ranging from one hundred 
to one hundred seventy-five students ; but after a time the attend- 
ance began to fall off, and in 1894 the college closed its doors. 
The College City High School now uses the larger of the college 
buildings. Some of the most prominent men and women of the 
Sacramento Vallev are alumni of Pierce Christian College, and it 


is a matter of genuine regret that the institution could not con- 
tinue to live. 

In 1882 Father Michael Wallrath, the untiring builder of the 
Catholic Churcli, secured a block of land in Colusa and began plan- 
ning for a convent school. It was six years before the actual 
l)uilding was begun; but in 1888 ground was broken for a beauti- 
ful twenty-five-thousand-dollar building, and two years later it 
was opened for educational work. Its work has not been unin- 
terrupted from then till now. Several times lack of patronage or 
lack of teachers has caused the convent school to suspend for a 
time; but it has always reopened, and is in operation today, giv- 
ing promise of a vigorous existence for many years. The teachers 
are usually sisters or nuns of one of the various orders ; those at 
present in charge are Sisters of the Humility of Mary. The at- 
tendance this year is about one hundred. 


Colusa County people cannot be charged with an overmaster- 
ing fondness for church-going. They spread their activities over 
a number of lines, and some of these they emphasize much more 
than church attendance. Most of the churches of the county are 
weak; but there are some that have stood for nearly sixty years, 
pillars of defense in the cause of righteousness, and the story of 
the struggles of this department of the county's activities should 
find place here. 

The Methodist Episcoi^al Church, South, has more church 
buildings in the county than any other denomination, and of course 
the chief congregation is to be found at Colusa. The following 
history of the Colusa church was prepared by J. W. Goad for the 
semi-centennial of the church in 1909 : 

"My friends, we are here tonight to celebrate the fiftieth year 
of our existence as a church, which was organized by Brother 
James Kelsey in the year 1859. Rev. Moses Clampit was the first 
presiding elder of what was then called the Marysville District; 
and James Kelsey was the pastor of Colusa Circuit, which em- 
braced Grand Island, Colusa, Princeton and Marvin Chapel, then 
known as Davis schoolhouse. 

"Brother Kelsey told me that, the first time he came to Co- 
lusa, about a mile below the town he met a man in a wagon, and 
he stopped him and inquired if he could tell him if there were 
any Chi'istians in Colusa. The man looked at him apparently a 
little surprised, and said, 'Mister, you are a stranger to me, but I 
will bet you this jug of whiskey against five dollars that you can't 
find a Christian in Colusa.' 


"Brother Kelsey came on a little further, when he came to a 
gallows where they had hanged a man a few days before. But the 
sainted Kelsey did not let these things move nor discourage him; 
he came on to town, and here he found a few faithful Christian 
men and women — W. F. Goad, Mrs. George F. Jones, of Chico, J. 
T. Marr and his good wife, and a few others. He then organized 
this church, and preached here once a month in the old courthouse, 
which was used for preaching at that time. It was the house 
occupied by Judge Moore as a residence until a few years ago. 

"A Sunday school was then organized, and W. F. Goad was 
the first superintendent. In the year 1860, Rev. B. R. Johnson 
was our presiding elder, and J. G. Shelton preacher in charge. 
That year we built the parsonage now occupied by Brother Horn. 
In 1861 T. C. Barton was presiding elder, and J. G. Johnson 
preacher in charge. In 1862 0. Fisher was presiding elder, and 
T. C. Barton preacher in charge. In 1863 0. Fisher was presiding 
elder and I. G. Hopkins preacher in charge. We then had preach- 
ing and all church services in the new courthouse. In 1864 T. C. 
Barton was presiding elder, and T. S. Burnett was preacher in 
charge. Brother Bui-nett was the brother of the first governor of 
California. In 1865 T. C. Barton was presiding elder, and J. G. 
Shelton was preacher in charge. That year the first church choir 
was organized in Colusa by Mrs. Ella B. Wall. She had given a 
concert and purchased an organ. The choir had met several times 
for practice and were prepared to give good music. District court 
had been in session for several days, and preaching was in the 
court room. Judge Keyser and a number of distinguished attor- 
neys from abroad were in the congregation. Brother Shelton 
arose in the judge's stand and announced the first hymn, read the 
first two lines, and turned to the choir and said, 'You may sing 
it now, after a while, or not at all, just as you please.' One of 
the choir said, 'We will sing it now'; and they did. This was the 
beginning of choir singing in Colusa. 

"In 1867-1868 P. 0. Clayton was presiding elder, and J. G. 
Shelton was preacher in charge. During these years, the little 
old church was built by Brother Shelton, and dedicated by Bishop 
Marvin, and Coluga was changed from a circuit to a station. 

"In 1868, at the conference in October, P. 0. Clayton was ap- 
pointed presiding elder, and L. C. Renfro preacher in charge; 
and they were here three years, until 1871. 

"In 1871-1872 T. H. B. Anderson was presiding elder, and G. 
W. Fleming and E. K. Miller preachers in charge. During 1873- 
1875 T. C. Barton was presiding elder, and E. K. Miller preacher 
in charge. In 1873 the Pacific Annual Conference was held in 


Colusa by Bisliop Doggett. On Sunday morning Bisliop Doggett 
preached in the theater; and Brother Hoss, now Bishop Hoss, 
preached at night. In 1876 T. C. Barton was presiding elder, and 
J. C. Heyden was preacher in charge. In October, 1876, Rev. 
George Sim was appointed presiding elder, and T. H. B. Anderson 
preacher in charge. During the pastorate of the latter, this Trinity 
Church was built, the corner stone being laid on the 15th day of 
August, 1877, under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Free and 
Accepted Masons of California. Hon. W. C. Belcher, of Marys- 
ville, acted as Grand Master. The day was beautiful, and all 
Masonic lodges in Colusa County were represented. Brothers Sim 
and Anderson were here two years. James Kelsey was presiding 
elder, and T. H. B. Anderson preacher in charge, from October, 
1878, to October, 1879. 

"The building committee that Imilt this church was T. H. B. 
Anderson, chairman; J. W. Goad, secretary; W. E. Merrill, J. T. 
Marr, C. C. Crommer, Jackson Hart, George Hagar and E. W. 
Jones. J. B. Danner was the builder of the brick work. Rice and 
Beach were tbe carpenters, and A. A. Cook, of Sacramento, archi- 
tect. The cost of the building and furniture was $25,000, or there- 
abouts. It was dedicated February 20, 1881. 

' ' The preachers that have served this congregation since then 
are as follows: In 1880, C. C. Chamberlain ; 1881 to 1883, T. A. 
Atkinson; 1883 to 1887, T. H. B. Anderson; 1887 to 1890, J. C. 
Simmons; 1890 to 1892, R. J. Briggs; 1892, E. A. Garrison; 1893, 
C. E. W. Smith; 1894 to 1898, R. F. Allen; 1898 to 1900, C. M. 
Davenport; 1900 to 1904, J. E. Squires; 1904 to 1906, W. P. Baird; 
1906, J. R. Ward; 1907 to the present date, J. "W. Horn. 

"This church has been a power for good in this community; 
its influence cannot be estimated in this town and county. Among 
the beautiful pictures that hang on my memory's wall is this 
church and its membership. AVhen I think of Kelsey, Shelton, 
Miller, Barton, Fisher, Chamberlain, Simmons, Garrison, Allen, 
and a host of others that have labored here with us, and that have 
gone on before and are now walking the golden streets, I almost 
wish that I were there. When they meet, it may be that they 
wonder why it is that we. Brother Anderson, tarry here so long. 
My prayer is, that we may so live that when the summons comes 
for us to join the innumeral>le company, we may hear the welcome 
plaudit, 'Well done, good and faithful servants'." 

The preachers since 1910 have been H. V. Moore, H. M. 
Bruce, and J. W. Byrd, who is at present in charge. H. V. Moore, 
as eloquent and elegant a gentleman as ever drew the breath of 
hfe, was in charge when the present parsonage was erected. The 


old one was located at Sixth and Oak Streets, and is now occupied 
by Mrs. George Scott as a residence. 

This denomination has churches at Arbuckle, "Williams, Max- 
well, Sites and Princeton. The first Arbuckle church was built in 
1878, and a fine new one was erected in 1913. The congregation 
is now in charge of Rev. R. L. Sprinkle, as preacher. The Wil- 
liams, Maxwell and Sites churches are combined in one charge, 
and Rev. J. B. Needham is the preacher. The Williams church 
was organized in 1880, and the Sites church in 1889. The Prince- 
ton church is combined with the church at Marvin Chapel, in 
Glenn County, and Rev. L. C. Smith is the preacher. The Meth- 
odist Church, which is the only church in Princeton, was dedicated 
on October 4, 1874. The Methodists also had churches at Stony- 
ford and Leesville, but these have disintegrated. 

The second Protestant denomination to have a church in Co- 
lusa was the Christian Church, which ^built its first church in town 
in 1869. The present structure was erected in 1881. The congre- 
gation has been a strong one in years past, but has fallen off 
recentlv. The ministers that have been in charge are J. C. Keith, 
W. H. Martin, C. A. Young, W. P. Dorsey, G. T. Nesbit, Guy W. 
Smith, H. G. Hartley, W. F. Reagor, E. W. Seawell, R. W. Tener, 
W. L. Neal, H. J. Loken, J. K. Ballon and R. C. Davis. The 
Christian Church at Williams was incorporated in July, 1881, and 
for many years was a thriving institution; but since the departure 
of Rev. J. A. Emrich, a few months ago, the church has had no 
minister and no regular services. The only church in College City 
is a Christian church, the pastor being Rev. A. A. Doak." This 
church was dedicated in 1893, and has always been vigorous until 
the past few years, during which the membership has fallen off. 
A Christian church was organized at Sycamore in May, 1875, and 
was served by the College City pastor for a number of years. The 
membership was never large, and for many years there have been 
no regular services in the church. A Christian church was built 
in Maxwell in 1886. In June of that year, while the church was 
under construction, a heavy wind blew it down, but it was later 
completed and dedicated. No services have been held regularlj' in 
it for many years. The youngest Christian church in the county 
is the Grand Island church, located near Dry Slough, south of 
Sycamore. This church was dedicated on November 11, 1900, and 
must be regarded as a monument to the public spirit and energy 
of Mrs. Maria Farnsworth, one of the early and finest pioneer 
women of the county. The Grand Island church has no pastor, 
but irregular services are held by the pastor at Colusa or others. 


The Catholic Church peoi)le liuilt the first church iu Colusa 
County. That was at Colusa, and the dedication took place on 
December 8, 1867. Up to this time all church services had been 
held in the courthouse, in schoolhouses or in private homes. On May 
27, 1866, Father Crinnian held services in Colusa, and eighteen 
hundred dollars was subscribed for a church building; but a year 
and a half passed before the building was ready for dedication. 
Father F. C. Becker was the first resident priest. He remained 
eighteen months; and then Father A. O'Donnell came for two 
years, and Father Ed Kelly for eight monhs. After that came . 
Fathers Coffee, Hagarty, Quigley, and Cassidy; and then, on 
March 27, 1877, came an epoch in the church's life, the arrival of 
Father Michael Wallrath. Father Wallrath found the church 
building that had been begun in 1867 still unfinished. He quickly 
finished it, and before he had been in charge for three years the 
congregation had grown so much that they were planning a new 
church. A little over ten years after' Father "Wallrath's adminis- 
tration began, the ijresent fine brick building was finished. It was 
dedicated on October 9, 1887. From the beginning of his pastorate 
in 1877 to the day he was transferred to Woodland in 1911, 
Father Wallrath was a potent influence in the atTairs of the Cath- 
olic Church, not only in this county 1)ut also in the entire Sacra- 
mento A^alley. He held frequent services in the towns throughout 
the county, helped get a church in Maxwell in 1881, and built the 
Mt. St. Zachary Church near Stonyford. This church was later 
moved to Stonyford. It has never had a resident priest. Father 
Michael Hynes, of Maxwell, serves the churches at Maxwell, 
Stonyford, Williams and Arbnckle. Father C. C. McGrath, a 
genial son of old Ireland, has been pastor of the Colusa church 
since Father Wallrath left. Father Wallrath, who served the 
Colusa congregation for thirty-four years, died iu 1917, and his 
funeral was one of the largest and most impressive ever held in 
the state; a special train was run from this county for the 

The Baptists have three active churches in the county : one at 
Grimes, one at Arbuckle, and one at Maxwell. The Grimes church, 
which cost four thousand dollars, was completed in 1875, and is 
the only church in the town. It is therefore more or less of a 
"commimity" church, as, indeed, many of the other churches in 
the small towns are and ought to be. Rev. Walter F. Grigg is the 
pastor at Grimes, and Rev. H. G. Jackson ministers to the congre- 
gations at Maxwell and Arbuckle. The Maxwell church was in- 
corporated in 188.3, and the Arbuckle church in 1894. Both con- 
gregations are small. 


The Presbyterian Church in Colusa is the only one of that 
sect in the county. On Saturday, April 18, 1874:, a small company 
of people met in the schoolhouse in Colusa and organized a Pres- 
l)yterian church with fourteen members. J. D. Gage, John 
Cheney, Dr. C. W. Hansen, E. B. Moore, and S. P. French were 
chosen trustees. The next day Rev. Thomas Eraser, who had been 
sent to oversee the organization of the church, preached to a great 
crowd in the Christian Church, which had been kindly loaned for 
the occasion, and a number of names were added to the member- 
ship roll. Eev. J. H. Byers was secured as pastor at a salary of 
twelve hundred dollars a year, and the Odd Fellows' Hall was 
secured for holding services. During the summer a building com- 
mittee was appointed, and it selected the lot at the corner of 
Fourth and Jay Streets as a site for the church. Col. George 
Hagar and Jonas Spect donated the site to the congregation ; and 
in November, 1874, the contract for a three-thousand-dollar 
church building was let. The new building was dedicated on 
March 27, 1875, and before the end of the year was free of debt. 
A. Montgomery built the fence around the church lot at a cost of 
three hundred twenty-five dollars, and donated it to the congrega- 
tion; and in 1888 Mr. Montgomery gave the church five thousand 
dollars in cash. 

The first wedding in the church was that of John Henry Row- 
land and Miss Nellie Eeed, which took place on June 6, 1875. The 
first funeral was that of Mrs. John Cheney, who died on May 11, 
1876. Mrs. Cheney was one of the most faithful among the found- 
ers of the church, and one of the best women it has known. The 
first pastor was followed in 1875 by H. B. McBride, who came at 
a salary of one thousand dollars a year. From 1876 to 1879 W. 
P. Koutz was the pastor ; and then came James M. Smith, A. Fair- 
bairn, George A. Hutchinson, J. C. Eastman, George E. Bird, and 
H. H. Wintler. In 1900 H. T. Dobbins, one of the finest of earth's 
fine men, took the pastorate and held it till the end of 1917, when 
he resigned. His successor has not yet been selected. 

There is now under construction an addition to the church 
that will add a Sunday school room, a choir loft, and a kitchen 
to the equipment, and, it is hoped, will add new life to the mem- 
bership. For many years Mrs. Florence Kirk, now Mrs. Florence 
Albery, was organist and had charge of the music of the church ; 
and later Miss Elizabeth Murdock, now Mrs. C. A. Poage, was 
organist. For the past fifteen years Mrs. Dobbins has been or- 
ganist and choir director, a position that she has filled most 

The Episcopal Church of Colusa, which is the only one of that 
faith in the countv, was organized about twenty-five vears aa:o. 


For a time the congregatiou met in Odd Fellows' Hall, and later 
in a small building on Main Street; but in 1894 they erected a 
church building. This is a missionary parish, the membership 
being very small, and it is combined with Willows; the rector, 
Eev. C. H. Lake, serving both parishes. A very comfortable 
rectory is part of the church equipment. 

The African M. E. Zion Church was incorporated on Feb- 
ruary 10, 1894. It has a church building, but no pastor or reg- 
ular services. 


One who wanders along the path of lodge history in Colusa 
County will tind the way strewn with many wrecks. As a matter 
of fact, of all the lodges established, more have succumbed than 
have sur\'ived. Out of eighteen or twenty orders that have in- 
stituted lodges in the county, not more than sis or eight now 
have lodges in active operation. The others have all fallen by 
the way or are in a comatose condition. The Masons, Eastern 
Star, Odd Fellows, Rebekabs, AVorkmen, Druids, Native Sons, 
Native Daughters, Grand Army of the Republic, Women's Relief 
Corps, Confederate Veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy, 
Knights of Pythias, Moose, Foresters, Eagles, Knights of Honor, 
Federated Brotherhood, Sons of Temperance, Good Templars, and 
perhaps some others that I cannot now recall — for I am naming 
them from memory — have all been represented in the county at 
one time or another; but the Masons, Eastern Star, Odd Fellows, 
Rebekahs, Native Sons, Native Daughters, Knights of Pythias, 
Moose, and possibly the Eagles, are all that hold regular meetings 
at present. New orders are organized from time to time, and now 
and then old ones give up the struggle, keeping the number of 
active orders in the county about the same. The march of time 
accounts for the passing of the Grand Army of the Republic, the 
Confederate Veterans, and their allied associations, whose ranks 
could not be filled from the oncoming generations; but only the 
natural inertia and apathy of the human race, coupled with the 
fact that there are more lodges than are necessary, can account 
for the decline and decay of most of the benevolent orders that 
have passed away. 

The Masonic fraternity, the first one to plant a lodge in 
the county, now has five active lodges here, one each at Colusa, 
Arbuckle, Williams, Maxwell and Stonyford, with a total mem- 
bership of two hundred sixty-six. These five lodges comprise 
the fifteenth district of the Jurisdiction of California; and Her- 
man Jacobson, of Colusa, is Inspector. 


Colusa Lodge, No. 142, Free and Accepted Masons, was or- 
ganized iu Colusa on November 19, 1859, with seven charter 
members. In July, 1875, Equality Lodge was organized; and in 
1880 each of these lodges had fifty-six members. On April 1, 
1882, the two lodges were consolidated under the name of Colusa 
Lodge, with J. B. Cooke as Worthy Master, J. Furtli as Senior 
AVarden, "\V. N. Herd as Junior Warden, J. W. Goad as Treasurer, 
and W. T. Beville as Secretary. Mr. Seville has continued as 
Secretary ever since, with only one or two trifling breaks. He 
has been installed as Secretary thirty-eight times. The Masonic 
Temple, which stands at the corner of Fifth and Jay Streets, 
was begun in 1891, and was dedicated June 8, 1892. It is a 
frame structure, sixty-five by seventy feet in size, and cost ten 
thousand dollars. The lodge is in a flourishing condition, having 
at present eighty-five members. The officers for 1917 are W. L. 
Merrill, Master; W. T. Beville, Secretary; H. F. Osgood, Treas- 
urer; Joseph Baum, Senior AVarden; McPherson Montgomery, 
Junior AVarden; J. D. McNary, Chaplain; C. J. AVescott, Senior 
Deacon; Frank L. Crayton, Junior Deacon; C. AA^. Young, Mar- 
shal; C. T. AA^hite, Senior Steward; Daryl DeJarnatt, Junior 
Steward; Leon F. Hicok, Tiler. 

I do not have the dates of organization of the other Masonic 
lodges in the county, Init they have all been in existence for 
many years. Meridian Lodge, No. 182, at Arbuckle, has fifty-one 
members and is officered by George C. Meckfessel, Master; S. A. 
Pendleton, Secretary; Douglas Cramer, Treasurer; J. E. Lindsay, 
Senior AA'arden; Milton F. Struckmeyer, Junior AVarden. 

Tuscan Lodge, No. 261, at AA^illiams, has fifty-seven members 
and the following officers: Leroy Schaad, Master; P. H. Northey, 
Secretary; G. E. Franke, Treasurer; E. J. AA'orsley, Senior AVar- 
den; S. G. Linn, Junior AVarden; G. AV. Gibson, Senior Deacon; 
L. A. Mace, Junior Deacon ; A. A. Entrican, Marshal ; J. F. Abel, 
Senior Steward ; S. S. Eakle, Junior Steward ; B. F. Peters, Tiler. 

Snow Mountain Lodge, No. 271, at Stonyford, has thirty-eight 
members and the following officers: G. L. Mason, Master; A. T. 
AVelton, Secretary ; D. J. AVestapher, Treasurer ; E. H. Yearushaw, 
Senior AVarden; Samuel E. Stites, Junior AVarden; Eoy L. 
AValkup, Senior Deacon; G. J. AA'estapher, Junior Deacon; AV. J. 
Lovelady, Marshal; Charles Alexander, Senior Steward; F. M. 
Kesselring, Junior Steward; J. M. Morris, Tiler. 

Maxwell Lodge, No. 288, at Maxwell, has thirty-five mem- 
bers; and the present officers are S. E. Crutcher, Master; A. J. 
Fouch, Secretary ; F. H. Abel, Treasurer ; PI. J. Arvedson, Senior 
AVarden; C. E. Brennir, Junior AA^arden; J. AA^. Marshall, Chap- 
lain; J. AV. Danley, Senior Deacon; G. M. Clark, Junior Deacon; 


G. B. Harden, Marshal ; W. H. Lovelace, Senior Steward ; Horace 
Fisher, Junior Steward; M. Mathieson, Tiler. 

In March, 1884, J. B. Cooke, J. B. DeJarnatt, C. E. de St. 
Maurice, and Eev. T. H. B. Anderson went to Marysville to obtain 
permission to establish a commandery of Knights Templar in 
Colusa ; and the organization formed as a result of that visit is in 
existence todaj'. The present membership is forty-five, and the 
officers are W. C. Blean, Commander; C. D. Stanton, Generalis- 
simo; B. H. Mitchell, Captain General; U. W. Brown, Prelate; 
Oscar Eobinson, Senior Warden; Dr. E. S. Holloway, Junior 
Warden; F. J. Mendonsa, Warder; W. L. Merrill, Eecorder; J. C. 
Mogk, Treasurer. 

A chapter of Royal Arch Masons was also formed, and it 
has about forty-five members. The present officers are G. W. 
Moore, High Priest; F. J. Mendonsa, King; J. C. Mogk, Scribe; 
Oscar Robinson, Principal Sojourner; W. L. Merrill, Recorder; 
C. D. Stanton, Treasurer; W. C. Blean, Master of the Third 
Veil; U. W. Brown, Master- of the Second Veil; Phil B. Arnold, 
Master of the First Veil. 

Veritas Chapter, Order of the Elastern Star, was organized 
at Colusa in 1884. It has always been an exceedingly active or- 
ganization. The present officers are Miss Myrtle Hicok, Worthy 
Matron; Herman Jacobson, Worthy Patron- Mrs. Robert Cosner, 
Secretary; Mrs. C. D. Stanton, Treasurer; Mrs. Lloyd Merrill, 
Conductress; Miss Orlean Herd, Associate Conductress. 

Eowana Chapter, 0. E. S., was instituted on May 30, 1914, at 
Stonyford, the chapter being named by Mrs. Mary Turman, daugh- 
ter of Dr. Robert Semple. The first officers were Mrs. Edith 
McGahan, Worthy Matron; D. J. Westapher, Worthy Patron; 
G. T. McGahan, Secretary ; J. M. Morris, Treasurer. 

Loyal Chapter, of Williams, and Wild Rose Chapter, of 
Princeton, are also active organizations. The officers of Wild 
Rose Chapter are Mrs. Carrie Clapp, Worthy Matron ; Oscar Steele, 
Worthy Patron; Minnie Noe, Secretary; Mrs. C. M. Archer, Treas- 
urer. Mrs. Leroy Schaad is Worthy Matron of Loyal Chapter; 
Bert L. Fouch, Worthy Patron ; Ida Entrican, Secretary ; Carrie I. 
Fouch, Treasurer. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows has five lodges in the 
county; and there are also five lodges of the Daughters of Re- 
bekah. Colusa Lodge, No. 133, was organized May 2, 1867. At 
first it met in a room on Main Street; but later Chris Swank 
built a hall for the lodge on Market Street, opposite the court- 
house, and it was hous'ed there till 1892, when the present build- 
ing was erected at Fifth and Market Streets. It was dedicated 


on December 16, 1892, with impressive ceremonies. The charter 
members of the lodge were Moses Stinchfield, W. F. Goad, A. S. 
Gulp, T. G. Shelton, Jackson Hart, W. B. Pollard, John H. Byers, 
0. F. Cook and Charles Spaulding. The lodge now has ninety-five 
members and is exceedingly prosperous. It practically owns the 
building now, and will soon own it entirely. Recently it installed 
a handsome and expensive Edison phonograph for the pleasure 
of the members. The present elective officers are Algernon Butler, 
Noble Grand; Raymond Stewart, Vice-Grand; A. H. Walworth, 
Secretary; George H. Hall, Treasurer. Colusa Lodge had the 
reputation at one time of doing the best degree work in the Sacra- 
mento Valley. For nearly twenty years, under the management 
of W. D. Cook, the lodge ran a steamboat excursion each spring 
to the Odd Fellows' picnic at Grimes; but of late the growing 
use of automobiles cut down the patronage of the excursions so 
much that they were discontinued in 1916. 

Princeton Lodge was organized at Princeton on January 15, 
1877. It had thirty-five members at one time ; but the membership 
later waned to such an extent that it was merged with Colusa 
Lodge, about twenty years ago. 

Central Lodge was instituted at Williams on March 8, 1875, 
and for a time it was in a flourishing condition ; but for the past 
fifteen years it has languished considerably. It has about seventy 
members, and the present elective officers are L. A. Manor, Noble 
Grand; J. H. Forsythe, Vice-Grand; Charles Haller, Secretary; 
C. C. Welch, Treasurer. The Noble Grand and Vice-Grand were 
both called to the colors shortly after being installed, and the 
lodge lost a number of other members in the same way. 

Probably the livest lodge in the county is Grand Island Lodge, 
No. 266, which was organized on October 10, 1877, at Grimes. It 
owns its own hall, gives a picnic once a year that is the great social 
event of the county, and sends out snappy, well-drilled degree 
teams. It has aljout one hundred five members, and the present 
elective officers are Robert Allison, Noble Grand; Chris Hoy, Jr., 
Vice-Grand; Edward Smith, Secretary; Peter Grimm, Treasurer. 

Spring Valley Lodge was instituted at Arbuckle on September 
4, 1884. This lodge is in a flourishing condition. The present 
elective officers are C. E. Arvedson, Noble Grand; W. T. Day, 
Vice-Grand; G. F. Weyand, Secretary; W. D. Bradford, Treasurer. 

Maxwell also has a flourishing lodge of Odd Fellows. On 
March 23, 1912, they dedicated a magnificent new hall that cost 
twenty thousand dollars. The elective officers are S. F. Watt, 
Noble Grand; Forest Danley, Vice-Grand; S. A. Hineline, Secre- 
tarv ; J. P. Nelson, Treasurer. 


Colusa Encampment, I. O. O. F.. was organized in Colusa in 
1876 ; but it has long since lapsed. 

Deborah Eebekah Lodge, of Colusa, was instituted in 1893, 
and has always been an institution in which its members take great 
pride. Its elective officers at iiresent are Mrs. Ra^Tiiond Manville, 
Noble Grand; Miss Lorena Newlaud, Vice-Grand; Miss Hattie 
Bell Caswell, Secretary ; Miss Ladye Edith Cartmell, Treasurer. 

Valley Rose Eebekah Lodge, of Grimes, was organized in 1909, 
and now has about eighty meniliers. The present elective officers 
are Mrs. Peter Grimm, Noble Grand; Mrs. Andrew Clark, Vice- 
Grand; Miss Irene Brown, Secretary; Mrs. Henry Houehins, 

There are also Reliekah lodges at Arbuckle, Williams and 
Maxwell. The officers of the Williams lodge are Viola Forsythe, 
Noble Grand ; Kate Kissling, Vice-Grand ; Ada Schaad, Secretary ; 
Mary Graser, Treasurer. The officers of the Maxwell lodge are 
Myrtle Hineline, Noble Grand ; Irma Jacobson, Vice-Grand ; Eliza- 
beth Nelson, Secretary; Elizabeth Nissen, Treasurer. 

A parlor of Native Sons of the Golden West was organized in 
Colusa on October 5, 1885, with forty-one charter members ; but it 
failed to endure. Colusa Parlor, No. 69, was organized in 1903, 
with J. W. Kaerth, President; Fred Watson, Past President; 
Phil B. Arnold, First Vice-President; W. B. DeJarnatt, Second 
Vice-President; Parker L. Jackson, Third A^iee-President ; J. M. 
Jones, Treasurer; W. C. Spaulding, Recording Secretary; J. S. 
O'Rourke, Financial Secretary. This lodge is still alive and 
healthy, and has done a number of things toward the improvement 
of the community, among them the restoration of the historic old 
stone corral in the foothills west of Maxwell. The present officers 
are J. Deter McNary, Past President; Warren Davison, Presi- 
dent ; J. E. Roderick, First Vice-President ; Grover Power, Second 
Vice-President; George Martin, Jr., Third Vice-President; Phil 
Humburg, Jr., Marshal; M. W. Burrows, Recording Secretary; 
George Fromhertz, Financial Secretary ; G. L. Messick, Treasurer ; 
Bert Smith, Ben Ragain and Fred Muttersbach, Trustees; Wil- 
liam Duncan, Inside Sentinel ; J. R. Manville, Outside Sentinel. 

Williams Parlor, No. 16-1, of Native Sons was organized on 
November 1, 1907, with twenty-six charter members. Julian Levy 
is the President now. 

The first parlor of Native Daughters of the Golden West was 
organized in Colusa on June 24, 1887 ; but it lapsed. On January 
30, 1912, a second parlor was organized by District Deputy Grand 
President Mrs. Mae Hartsock, with the following officers: Past 
President, Mrs. W. J. King ; President, Miss Revella Burrows ; 
First Vice-President, Miss Loga Sartain; Second Vice-President, 


Miss Hazel Webber; Third Vice-President, Miss Florine Poirier; 
Marshal, Mrs. E. P. Jones; Inside Sentinel, Miss Genevieve 
Faughnan; Outside Sentinel, Miss Lulu May Roche; Recording- 
Secretary, Mrs. Alva King; Financial Secretary, Miss Mabel 
Kurtz; Treasurer, Mrs. W. S. Brooks; Trustees, Misses Rhetta 
Green, Kathryn Hankins and Ladye Edith Cartmell; Organist, 
Miss Eva Joseph. The present officers are Miss Eva Joseph, Past 
President; Miss Elzie Lopez, President; Mrs. A. M. Hampton, 
First Vice-President; Mrs. Max South, Second Vice-President; 
Mrs. George St. Louis, Third Vice-President; Miss Ladye Edith 
Cartmell, Treasurer; Miss Orlean Herd, Recording Secretary; 
Miss Loma Cartmell, Financial Secretary; Mrs. Frank Fogalsang, 
Marshal; Miss Ruth St. Louis, Mrs. Alva King, and Miss ]\lyrtle 
Davis, Trustees ; Mrs. G. W. Hougland, Inside Sentinel ; Mrs. J. V. 
Stanton, Outside Sentinel ; Mrs. E. P. Jones, Organist. 

On December 1, 1869, a lodge of the Knights of Pythias was 
instituted in Colusa. This was Oriental Lodge, No. 10; and 0. S. 
Mason, E. W. Jones, and A. P. Spaulding were among the first 
officers. It lapsed after some years; and the county was there- 
after without a Pythian lodge till October 9, 1909, when a second 
lodge was organized with twenty charter members. The present 
officers are George Mannee, Chancellor Commander; M. P. Mont- 
gomery, Vice-Chancellor ; C. C. Johnson, Keeper of Records and 
Seals ; A. P. Staple, Master of Finance ; Val Carson, Master of the 
Exchequer; H. D. Braly, Master of Works; F. W. Farnsworth, 
Inside Guardian ; John Hanlon, Outside Guardian. 

The largest regular lodge ever started in the county was Colusa 
Lodge No. 83-t, Loyal Order of Moose, organized on December 
13, 1911, with two hundred three members. Ninety were initiated 
in one night. The first officers were 0. R. Mason, Past Dictator; 
F. W. Farnsworth, Dictator; F. M. Fogalsang, Vice-Dictator; 
W. E. Lewis, Prelate ; Albert Farnsworth, Sergeant-at-Arms ; W. S. 
Brooks, Secretary; J. O. Mason, Treasurer; H. D. Braly, Inside 
Guardian; George South, Outside Guardian; John Hanlon, J. T. 
Ward, and Freci Roche, Directors. This is the only Moose lodge 
in the county. 

There is one lodge of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in the 
county. This is Colusa Aerie, No. 675; and it was instituted in 
June, 1904, with fifty-one meml)ers. For a time the lodge was in a 
very apathetic condition, and on February 2, 1912, E. J. Sanford ar- 
rived here to revive it. His efforts were successful, and the lodge 
is still in existence, but not very active. The present officers are 
Emil St. Louis, President ; George St. Louis, Vice-President ; Percy 
J. Cooke, Secretary; E. P. Jones, Treasurer. 

Court Sioc, of the Independent Order of Foresters, was organ- 
ized in May, 1892, with J. D. McNary as Chief Ranger and A. H. 


Caswell as Vice Chief Ranger. It was au insurance order, and 
greatly increased assessments drove many of the members out 
and worked a great hardship on those who stayed in. The present 
officers are G. W. Moore, Chief Ranger; J. P. Muttersbach, Vice 
Chief Ranger; C. C. Johnson, Secretary; J. F. Rich, Treasurer. 
The lodge does not hold regular meetings, and probably will soon 
be a matter of history. 

The greatest fiasco in the lodge history of the county was fur- 
nished by the Ancient Order of United Workmen. This order, 
from 1871 to 1885, placed six lodges in tlie county; but there isn't 
a vestige of one left. On March 15, 1871, a lodge was organized at 
Colusa ; but it lapsed. O. S. Mason was the Master. On November 
26, 1878, a second lodge was organized at Colusa, with W. H. Belton 
as Master. In 1879 a lodge was organized at Grand Island; and in 
1881 a lodge was organized at Princeton, with twenty-six members. 
Arbuekle got a lodge in 1885, and Maxwell also had a lodge. They 
are all gone. A Degree of Honor, the allied feminine order of the 
Workmen, was also organized at Colusa, in 1893; but it, too, has 
l^assed away. 

General John A. Miller Post, Grand Army of the Republic, 
was organized in Colusa on March 31, 1886. A. E. Potter, A. B. 
Cooper, Ed Riley, W. G. Henneke, and W. F. Landers are about 
the only members of this organization left. The Women's Relief 
Corps, the affiliated organization, established a branch here in 
1891. with Mrs. S. R. Murdock as president ; but most of its mem- 
bers have also passed away. The only ones living that I know of 
are Mrs. G. W. White, Mrs. G. G. Brooks, Mrs. Alphonsine Poirier, 
Mrs. A. B. Cooper and Mrs. A. E. Potter. 

Camp Pap Price, of the Confederate Veterans, was organized 
in Colusa on August 6, 1901 ; and at one time it had tifty-five mem- 
bers, although not all of them were from Colusa County. Major 
J. B. Moore has been Commander ever since the camp was started, 
and W. T. Beville is Adjutant. John L. Jackson, John T. Har- 
rington, T. B. McCollum, J. P. Smart, M. R. Blevins, and Luther 
Hoy are among the members of the camp who are still living. 
Winnie Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, also 
flourished at Colusa for a time ; but death has greatly thinned the 
ranks of its members. Mrs. W. S. Green is the president; Mrs. 
H. M. Albery, vice-president; and Mrs. C. 0. Jordan, secretary. 

A lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids was organized in 
Colusa on May 28, 1875; but it lapsed after a few years. The 
Knights of Honor went by the same route. The latter was organ- 
ized in Colusa in 1879. It was to pay the widow or orphans two 
thousand dollars upon the death of a member, an undertaking too 
big to be carried out. The Fraternal Bi'otherhood organized a 


were at all optimistic ; but in November, 186-i, a copious rain fell, 
and for several years thereafter the county was untroubled by 
drought. Of course there were seasons when a little more rainfall 
wouldn't have hurt, .and other seasons when the rainfall was poorly 
distributed from the farmer's standpoint ; but since 1864 the county 
has suffered much more from floods than from droughts. In the 
twenty years following 1864: the driest one was the season of 1876- 
1877, when the rainfall was a little over eleven inches ; but it was 
so distributed that a good crop was raised. The rainfall for the 
season of 1850-1851 was 7.42 inches ; hut tlie only season since which 
approaches that one in paucity of rainfall was the season of 1897- 
1898, when 9.38 inches fell. "The spring of 1913 was also dry; 
and the spring of 1917 gave promise of being a bad one for the 
farmers because of scarcity of rain, but the weather remained so 
cool till harvest time that an excellent crop was matured. The 
normal rainfall is eighteen inches. In the sixty-seven years since 
1850 it has fallen short of this amount fifteen times and exceeded it 
fifty-two times. 

On going through the newspajier files, one would be led to 
believe that the seasons had been growing increasingly wet evei' 
since the foundation of the county. No less than a dozen times I 
ran across the statement, "Highest water ever known in the 
county," or "Eains the worst in history," or some similar state- 
ment. This can be accounted for partly by the license which 
the newspaper man sometimes takes with the facts, and partly 
also by the fact that as the river was more and more confined 
by levees it did rise higher and higher, and as improvements 
became more plentiful floods became more damaging. The average 
rainfall has not increased at all. 

The heavy rainfall of the winter of 1867 made the roads of 
the county impassalile for two or three months, and greatly de- 
creased the acreage of grain sown. On the night of December 10 
of that year the river rose three and one half feet, and "Colusa 
and its environs became an island in a yellow waste of water. 
Between here and the Coast Eange the county presented the ap- 
pearance of an inland sea." The spring of 1878 holds the record 
for heavy and continuous rainfall. Beginning January 13 of that 
year, it rained 10.73 inches in three days and four nights; and 
from the 14th to the 30th the rainfall was 12.65 inches. Thousands 
of sheep were drowned and much other damage resulted. The 
"greatest flood ever known" occurred on February 5 and 6, 1881. 
The Feather River came across the valley past the Buttes, and 
rushed up Butte Slough to its junction with the Sacramento River 
in such volume that the current was carried clear across the 
river and washed out the levee on the west side. In 1884 another 


"highest water" came, breaking the levees in many places and 
flooding thousands of acres of land. The year 1889 was another 
flood year. On March 17, 1893, it rained an inch in four hours. 
Heavy wind and heavy damage accompanied the rain. In 1894, 
1895 and 1896 there were floods in January, and since then there 
have been a number of floods that have broken the levees. On 
March 6, 1911, it rained 3.12 inches, and on April 5, twenty-six 
thousand acres of grain went under water in District 108. The 
floods of February, 1915, were probably the most damaging in the 
history of the county. The river levee on the west side broke 
eight miles north of Colusa, two miles north, a mile south, at the 
Meridian bridge, and a mile above Grimes. The Northern Electric 
bridge at Meridian was wrecked, two miles of track between Colusa 
and Meridian were washed away or damaged, several miles of 
the Colusa and Hamilton Railroad were washed out, the power 
lines were broken, and Colusa was for a time cut off from all 
communication in any direction except by boat, and was without 
light or power for a week. No serious flood has occurred since 
then. Up to 1884, the latest date on which the heavy rains had 
begun was January 13. That year no heavy rains came till Jan- 
uary 26, but there were floods in Ajn-il. 

The hottest spell the county ever knew was in 1879, when for 
forty-four consecutive days the thermometer went above one hun- 
dred degrees. The hottest summer of recent years was 1913, 
which had twelve days, not consecutive, with the thermometer over 
100. The past ten years haven't averaged five days on which the 
temperature was over one hundred. There are two respects in 
which the climate has changed, or been modified. One is in regard 
to the heat of summer, and the other is in regard to north winds. 
The summers are cooler and do not have the long periods of hot 
north wind that used to be so disastrous. The change is due, no 
doubt, to the increased planting of alfalfa, and rice, and trees, which 
prevent the surface of the earth from becoming so hot. The most 
disagreeable element in the climate is the north wind, scorcliing hot 
in summer and cold in winter. In the early days the north wind 
sonietimes blew for three weeks at a stretch, doing frightful dam- 
age to the grain if it came at the right time. But as I have said, 
orchards, alfalfa and rice seem to have moderated the wind, and 
it is seldom, of recent years, that we get more than three days of it 
at a time. 

In the valley part of the county the thermometer has never 
gone below twenty-two degrees above zero, and seldom as low as 
that. In January, 1888, there Avas more suffering from cold than 
at any other time on record. With the thermometer at twenty-two 
above, a strong wind sprang up, and the people of the county had 


were at c^ll optimistic; but iu November, 1864, a copious rain fell, 
and for several years thereafter the county was untroubled by 
drought. Of course there were seasons when a little more rainfall 
wouldn't have hurt, and other seasons when the rainfall was poorly 
distributed from the farmer's standpoint ; but since 1864 the county 
has suffered much more from floods than from droughts. In the 
twenty years following 1864 the driest one was the season of 1876- 
1877, when the rainfall was a little over eleven inches; but it was 
so distributed that a good crop was raised. The rainfall for the 
season of 1850-1851 was 7.42 inches ; but the only season since which 
a])proaches that one in paucity of rainfall was the season of 1897- 
1898, when 9.38 inches fell. The spring of 1913 was also dry; 
and the s])ring of 1917 gave promise of being a bad one for the 
farmers because of scarcity of rain, but the weather remained so 
cool till harvest time that an excellent crop was matured. The 
normal rainfall is eighteen inches. In the sixty-seven years since 
1850 it has fallen short of this amount fifteen times and exceeded it 
fifty-two times. 

On going through the newspaper tiles, one would be led to 
believe that the seasons had been growing increasingly wet ever 
since the foundation of the county. No less than a dozen times I 
ran across the statement, "Highest water ever known in the 
county," or "Eains the worst in history," or some similar state- 
ment. This can be accounted for partly by the license which 
the newspaper man sometimes takes with the facts, and partly 
also by the fact that as the river was more and more coniined 
by levees it did rise higher and higher, and as improvements 
liecame more plentiful floods became more damaging. The average 
rainfall has not increased at all. 

The heavy rainfall of the winter of 1867 made the roads of 
the county impassable for two or three months, and greatly de- 
creased the acreage of grain sown. On the night of December 10 
of that year the river rose three and one half feet, and "Colusa 
and its environs became an island in a yellow waste of water. 
Between here and the Coast Eange the county presented the ap- 
pearance of an inland sea." The spring of 1878 holds the record 
for heavy and continuous rainfall. Beginning January 13 of that 
year, it rained 10.73 inches in three days and four nights; and 
from the 14th to the 30th the rainfall was 12.65 inches. Thousands 
of sheep were drowned and much other damage resulted. The 
"greatest flood ever known" occurred on February 5 and 6, 1881. 
The Feather River came across the valley past the Buttes, and 
rushed uji Butte Slough to its junction with the Sacramento River 
in such volume that the current was carried clear across the 
river and washed out the levee on the west side. In 1884 another 


"highest water" came, breaking the levees in many places and 
flooding thousands of acres of land. The year 1889 was another 
flood year. On March 17, 1893, it rained an inch in four hours. 
Heavy wind and heavy damage accompanied the rain. In 1894, 
1895 and 1896 there were floods in January, and since then there 
have been a number of floods that have broken the levees. On 
March 6, 1911, it rained 3.12 inches, and on April 5, twenty-six 
thousand acres of grain went under water in District 108. The 
floods of February, 1915, were probably the most damaging in the 
history of the county. The river levee on the west side broke 
eight miles north of Colusa, two miles north, a mile south, at the 
Meridian bridge, and a mile above Grimes. The Northern Electric 
bridge at Meridian was wrecked, two miles of track between Colusa 
and Meridian were washed away or damaged, several miles of 
the Colusa and Hamilton Eailroad were washed out, the power 
lines were broken, and Colusa was for a time cut off from all 
communication in any direction except by boat, and was without 
light or power for a week. No serious flood has occurred since 
then. Up to 1881, the latest date on which the heavy rains had 
begun was January 13. That year no heaAy rains came till Jan- 
uary 26, but there were floods in Ajjril. 

The hottest spell the county ever knew was in 1879, when for 
forty-four consecutive days the thermometer went above one hun- 
dred degrees. The hottest summer of recent years was 1913, 
which had twelve days, not consecutive, with the thermometer over 
100. The past ten years haven't averaged five days on which the 
temperature was over one hundred. There are two respects in 
which the climate has changed, or been modified. One is in regard 
to the heat of summer, and the other is in regard to north winds. 
The summers are cooler and do not have the long periods of hot 
north wind that used to be so disastrous. The change is due, no 
doubt, to the increased planting of alfalfa, and rice, and trees, which 
prevent the surface of the earth from becoming so hot. The most 
disagreeable element in the climate is the north wind, scorching hot 
in summer and cold in winter. In the early days the north wind 
sonaetimes blew for three weeks at a stretch, doing frightful dam- 
age to the grain if it came at the right time. But as I have said, 
orchards, alfalfa and rice seem to have moderated the wind, and 
it is seldom, of recent years, that we get more than three days of it 
at a time. 

In the valley part of the county the thermometer has never 
gone below twenty-two degrees above zero, and seldom as low as 
that. In January, 1888, there was more suffering from cold than 
at any other time on record. With the thermometer at twenty-two 
above, a strong wind sprang up, and the people of the county had 


an experience that tliey have rememlaered. Eipe oranges were 
frozen on the trees, an occurrence that is so rare as to be remark- 
able. The fall of last year was also an exceptionally cold one, and 
the orange trees were considerably damaged. 

The normal climate of Colusa County is made up of three 
months of ideal weather in March, April and May ; a warm June ; 
fairly hot weather in July and August ; a mixture of warm weather 
and cool, with jDossibly a little rain, in September; a beautiful 
October, with some rain ; cool weather, and more rain, in November ; 
colder weather, with occasional rain-storms, in December and Jan- 
uary; and warmer weather, with showers, in February. Of course, 
there are many variations of this program. There have to be, or 
it would become monotonous. Sometimes there is rain in June or 
July or August, when the schedule calls for absolutely clear 
weather. For example, in four days, beginning June 12, 1875, it 
rained 1.31 inches and did a great deal of damage. Lighter show- 
ers have frequently come in the summer, always causing incon- 
venience, if not damage. In June, 1905, it rained and hailed both. 
Summer rain is generally accompanied by thunder and lightning, 
another unusual weather phenomenon in the Sacramento Valley. 
The county has been visited Ijy a number of hail-storms, notably 
on March 16, 1861, when five inches of hail fell along Sycamore 
Slough; on February 17, 1873, when a terrific fall of hail occurred; 
and on June 21, 1890, when the "severest hail-storm ever seen" 
passed over Sites, Maxwell and Colusa, and the hailstones were 
"an inch in diameter and covered the ground a foot deep." On 
April 13, 1895, a heavy hail-storm struck Maxwell, killing small 
chickens and doing other damage. Other lighter hail-storms have 
come, but they are rare. 

Snow comes on an average of every four or five years. On 
July 12, 1865, a little snow fell in Antelope Valley. On December . 
3, 1873, a foot of it fell in Colusa, and from twelve to eighteen 
inches on the plains, causing hundreds of sheep to die. On January 
11, 1898, snow fell to the depth of four inches, and again in 1907 
there was a heavy snow. About five inches fell on January 8, 
1913; and on January 1 last year there were five inches of snow, 
and on the 28th, four inches more, making Jiine inches for the 
month. Anywhere from a trace to an inch or so has fallen on 
nimaerous other occasions. 

The county has also felt a number of earthquake shocks, but 
none severe enough to do any damage or cause any alarm. 

The foregoing discussion applies only to the valley part of the 
coiTnty. In the mountains there are snow and cold weather every 



Miscellaneous Facts 

I find, as I near the end of my work, that I have a large 
assortment of notes on subjects that didn't seem to fit in anywliere 
in the regular chapters of the history. I do not pretend that the 
list is at all complete, and I have made no attempt to weave them 
into a connected story; Init they are undoubtedly interesting, and 
possibly valuable, and so I shall set some of them down here. 

Picnics, Ceh'hiatious, and Public Gatherings 

Colusa County has had several famous celebrations, some of 
them in series. For twenty years or more it has been the custom 
of tlie Grand Island Lodge, I. O. 0. F., to hold a picnic near 
Grimes, to which practically the entire county goes. The event is 
always held on some Friday in May. 

Since 1910 College City has held an annual barbecue and old- 
fashioned reunion about October 1. 

Arbuckle has held an Almond Day annually for the past three 
years, and has gotten much permanent good from these events. 

Stonyford holds a picnic every year, and the entire mountain 
population attends, together with hundreds of people from Colusa, 
Willows, Maxwell, Williams, and other valley towns. 

Princeton held a celebration on March 18, 1893, because Gov- 
ernor Markham had signed the bill changing the boundary line so 
as to throw the Boggs ranch and the town entirely within Colusa 
County. Princeton also celebrated on April 30, 1910, the occasion 
being the presentation to the town of a drinking fountain by the 
widow and children of the famous pioneer, Hon. John Boggs. The 
celebration took the form of a rose carnival and barbecue ; and the 
rose carnival has been an annual event ever since, the one this 
year being held at Williams in conjunction with the people of 
that town. 

Colusa held its first water carnival on June 18, 19 and 20, 1909. 
The attendance was five thousand. The second was held on May 
28, 29 and 30, 1910. The crowd was not so large and the carnival 
was not so good as the first one, and those who hoped to see the 
water carnival an annual event realized that two events of the 
kind were all that would interest a Colusa County crowd. 

The students of Colusa High School held a baking contest and 
]3ure food show on April 11 and 12, 1913, in Colusa Theater. Mrs. 
R. M. Liening captured three first prizes for bread. 


Colusa celebrated the coming of the Northern Electric with a 
carnival on Jime 13 and 14, 1913. About three thousand guests 
were present. 

Colusa held its first, last and only municipal Christmas tree in 
1911. Ernest Weyand acted as Santa Claus. 

March 27, 1915, was Colusa County Daj^ at the Panama-Pacific 
Exposition; and a special train was run from Maxwell to San 
Francisco, carrying about one hundred people from Colusa and as 
many more from other points in the county. The county donated 
$17,000 to the exposition, and the commissioners to see that it was 
spent properly were J. W. Kaerth, H. H. Schutz, J. J. Morris, G. 
B. Harden and G. C. Comstock. The manager of Colusa County's 
exhibit was F. B. Pryor. 

Colusa County's first Chautauqua opened on June 6, 1915, 
and has been an annual event since then. 

Williams celebrated the coming of the state highway on May 
6, 1916, and entertained an enormous crowd. 

Colusa held her first goose stew on October 31, 1914, to cele- 
brate the laying of the corner stone of the new Hall of Eecords. 
Thirteen fifty-gallon kettles of stew, containing, among other 
things, eight hundred sixty wild geese, were served in the park 
to a crowd of three thousand people from all over the valley. 

Public Works and Public Buildings 

On March 16, 1883, a new Hall of Eecords was completed in 
Colusa at a cost of $25,000. On May 6, 1914, the contract for the 
present Hall of Records was let for $45,585. 

A free reading room was opened in Colusa on July 3, 1890. 
The new Carnegie Library at Sixth and Jay Streets was first 
occupied on October 1, 1906. 

The contract for a wooden bridge across the river at Colusa 
was let on September 2, 1881, at a cost of $16,500. The bridge 
was completed and accepted on December 28, 1881. A celebration 
marked the event. The present iron bridge was built in 1900 at a 
cost of $42,800, but the approaches and other extras brought the 
total cost up to $50,000. 

Public Utilities 

The telephone was first introduced into the countj^ in 1878. 
In 1901 the Home Telephone Company was organized to build a 
line to Sycamore and Grimes. In 1906 the Colusa County Tele- 
phone Company was organized with C. L. Schaad, Oscar Robinson, 
W. T. Rathbun, P. R. Peterson and G. C. Comstock as directors; 
and for two years the county suffered the inconvenience of two 
telephone systems. In 1909 the two systems were combined. 


Telephone rates were raised in Colnsa County in 1911, and 
many citizens signed a protest to tlie company, but without avail. 

Grimes Lighting District was established in July, 1912; 
Princeton Lighting District, in 1915. 

Postal Dates and Postal Data 

Colusa was made a money-order post office in 1866. 

Colusa was connected with the postal telegraph system on 
May 5, 1887, by a wire from the main line at Williams. 

The largest mail that ever came to Colusa arrived on Decem- 
ber 19, 1915, when fifty-nine sacks were unloaded. 

In 1870 the people of Bear Valley, Sulphur Creek and Stony- 
ford came to Colusa for their mail. 

The post office at Arbuckle was established on September 11, 
1876, with T. B. Arbuckle as postmaster. The post office at Max- 
well was established on April 5, 1877. 

Companies and Corporations 

On February 3, 1894, the Colusa County Cooperative Com- 
pany was formed for the purpose of attracting settlers to the 

The Sacramento Valley Development Association was organ- 
ized on April 27, 1900, largely through the efforts of ^Y. S. Green. 

The College City Eochdale Company was organized in 1901 ; 
the Arbuckle and the Grimes Rochdale Companies in 1903; the 
Colusa Eochdale Company in 1906; and the Maxwell Eochdale 
Company in 1907. The Colusa Eochdale Company filed a petition 
to be dissolved on December 11, 1911, after the shareholders had 
been assessed heavily to pay up its debts. 

The Central California Investment Company bought the 
Moulton ranch on the east side in 1904, and sold it to the Moulton 
Irrigated Lands Company in 1910. The Moulton Company, under 
the direction of W. K. Brown, made some extensive improvements 
and sold the ranch a few months ago to the Colusa Delta Lands 

A party of ten Chicago business men bought the Hubbard 
ranch, three miles south of Princeton, in 1911, and under the man- 
agement of one of them, H. J. Stegemann, proceeded to lay oiit a 
conmiunity settlement, which they called "Thousand Acres." 
They devoted forty acres in the center of the tract to village pur- 
poses, laying out a large oval around which their homes were to 
be built, and each was to have a share of the rest of the laud as 
his own property. After about eighty dollars an acre, in addition 
to the cost of the land, had been spent in developing the land, the 
members of the party became dissatisfied. Mr. Stegemann died 


in 1913, and after liis death the laud of the settlement reverted to 
the previous owners. 

On March 11, 1912, the Yolo Laud Company bought thirteen 
thousand five hundred acres of the Tubbs-Tuttle land south of 
Grimes and began a colonization project. 

The Colusa Count}' Bank was organized in 1870, and ever 
since that time it has been one of the strongest financial institu- 
tions in the state. Its building, which at first was a two-story one, 
was remodeled in 1910 into its present form. B. H. Burton is now 
president; and Tennent Harrington, cashier. 

The Farmers Bank opened for business on July 20, 1874 ; but 
it was not successful, and on February 20, 1876, the stockholders 
voted to disincorporate. 

The Fai'mers and Merchants Bank was organized in 1902. 
Owing to the failure of its San Francisco correspondent, the Cali- 
fornia Safe Deposit and Trust Company, and the defalcations of 
J. Dalzell Brown, manager of the San Francisco bank and presi- 
dent of the local bank, the latter was compelled to suspend busi- 
ness on December 10, 1907. It reopened on March 2, 1908, and 
prospered thereafter. It became a national bank in 1911, and 
changed its name to The First National Bank of Colusa, organiz- 
ing, at the same time a savings department. The First Savings 
Bank of Colusa. In 1912 the two banks, which are under one man- 
agement, moved from the Odd Fellows building to their own new 
stone building across the street, where they do an immense busi- 
ness. U. W. Brown is ^Ji'esident ; H. F. Osgood, cashier; and 
Everett Bowes, assistant cashier. 

The Colusa County Bank established a branch at Maxwell in 
1911, one at Princeton in 1912, and one at Grimes in 1913. 

Various Organizations 

The enrollment of Company B, National Guard of California, 
was com])leted on June 16, 1887. B. H. Mitchell was Captain; F. 
C. Eadcliff, First Lieutenant; and James Moore, Second Lieu- 
tenant. The company was called to Sacramento on July 20, 1894, 
to help quell the railroad strike, and returned on August 4, 1894. 
The company was also called out for the S]muish-American War 
in 1898, but got only as far as Oakland. Interest in the company 
waned, and it was mustered out on September 24, 1910. 

The Colusa County Chamber of Commerce, better known as 
the C. C. C. C, was organized in 1906, and hired John H. Hartog 
as professional booster, at a salary of two hundred fifty dollars 
a month. 


The Cohisa County liumaue Society was organized in 1911 
under the presidency of Mrs. Tennent Harrington, who has lieeu 
at the head of it ever since. 

The Colusa Gun Club, owning one thousand acres of tule land 
on Butte Creek, decided in 1893 to huild a boat-house on the creek. 
The shares, or memberships in the club, with a par value of $100, 
have been for many years worth $500, and recently advanced to 
$],000 each. 

The Trolley League of baseball clulis was first organized in 
1913. It survived for three or four years, W. M. Harrington be- 
ing its guiding star ; and then the Great War took its place in the 

It was in 1913 that the swimming craze struck Colusa. A 
swimming club was formed; and everybody in town and the sur- 
rounding country, that had any sporting blood at all, bought a 
bathing suit and went down to the beach on the east side of the 
river, below the bridge, every afternoon and evening, and swam 
or tried to learn to swim. By the next siunmer the enthusiasm 
had dwindled amazingly, and the third summer and thereafter 
swimming was confined to the youngsters and a vei-y few enthu- 
siasts. For the past year or two there has been great enthusiasm 
for swimming at Arbuckle, where a fine bath house with swimming 
tank has been erected by A. J. Strong. 


Fouts Springs was opened up on March 17, 1874, by John F. 
Fonts. The resort has been owned for many years by Charles H. 
Glenn, of Willows, who has spent thousands of dollars in im- 

Cooks Springs resort was liought in 1899 by the Cooks 
Springs Company, the present owners, who created a wide mar- 
ket for the bottled water. 

A. A. Gibson bought Wilbur Springs in 1907, and sold it to 
J. W. Cuthbert and others in 1908. Mr. Cuthbert bought Jones' 
Springs from J. A. Ryan in 1914, and consolidated the two resorts. 


Cleaton Grimes, one of the county's first settlers, died in 1913, 
at the age of ninety-seven years. 

Sallie McGinley Greely, the first girl born in Colusa, died in 
Vermilion, Mont., on January 16, 1890. 

James Yates, one of the first men to settle in the county, died 
September 1, 1907. 

Col. L. F. Moultou died on December 8, 1906, as the result of 
a runaway accident. 


lu 1891 Hon. John Boggs offered to sell one thousand acres 
of his best land along the river for forty dollars an acre. 

W. S. Green ^vas appointed Surveyor-General of California on 
March 24, 1894, by President Grover Cleveland. 

On February 20, 1874, Henry Booksin, of Freshwater Town- 
ship, sold 5,858 acres of land for $70,30.3. 

In January, 1884, F. T. Mann and Ed Harrington presented 
every widow in Colusa with a sack of flour. It took forty- 
seven sacks. 

On February 17, 1894, E. C. Peart and Andy Bond started 
soliciting funds for a District Fair at Colusa. Thev raised 

Miss Marcia Daly eloped with Bev. J. E. Ward on October 23, 
1907, and, so far as the public knows, has never been heard 
of since. 

In the spring of 1890 Colonel Moulton gave everybody in Co- 
lusa who wished them, walnut trees to replace the locust trees 
along the streets. 

The Sacramento Valley Irrigation Company in 1910 offered a 
iive-hundred-dollar registered Holstein cow as a prize for the 
most successful intensive farming. The prize was won by W. F. 
Burt, of Princeton. Mr. Burt showed that he put $1,500 in the 
bank each year from his seven-acre farm, besides educating a fam- 
ily of five children. Mr. Burt's returns were received from the 
following: Pears, $25; peaches, $105.15; apricots, $18.40; grapes, 
$25.15; berries, including strawberries, blackberries, raspberries 
and loganberries, $45.09 ; melons, $100.60 ; cows, $900 ; hogs, $200 ; 
chickens and turkeys, $175; onions, $7.80; cabbage, $8.25; string 
beans, $9; cucumbers, $8; sugar corn, $41.30; tomatoes, $69.84; 
potatoes, $19..35; green peppers. $106.70; honey, $100; total, 
$2,064.72. Besides the foregoing, Mr. Burt raised oranges, lemons, 
pomeloes, figs, olives, phmis, prunes, alfalfa, bees and sheep. 

A company of about fifty I. TV. W.'s struck Colusa County in 
March, 1914. There was much excitement and some trepidation, 
as they were reported to be desperate men, but they committed 
no acts of violence. "Williams gave them their breakfast and sixty 
dollars for cleaning up the cemetery; but Arbuckle and Colusa 
gave them nothing but hostile looks and good advice. So they 
went on over into Sutter County, where they disbanded. 

John L. Jackson, 'V\\ A. Vann and George N. Farnsworth 
were appointed by President Wilson in 1917 as Colusa County's 
Exemption Board to handle the draft of soldiers for the war. 
Colusa County's first quota of soldiers under the draft numbered 
eighty-two; and they were sent to Camp Lewis, near Tacoma, 
Wash., in four contingents. 


Facts and Figures 

The Colusa Theater was dedicated on June 19, 1873. 

A company was formed in Cohisa in 1866 to "o to Texas to 

An epidemic of a sort of pneumonia in January and February 
of 1868 carried oH many babies. 

Colusa had its first movin.o- picture show in 1908. The Cri- 
terion Theater was opened on April 1, of that year. 

On July 8, 1893, Bowden & Berkey shipped one thousand 
pounds of blackberries from Colusa to Williams and Arbuekle. 

Three hundred and ninety-five oranges were picked from one 
tree in Colusa on January 20, 1894. 

Bert Manville caught thirty-seven swarms of bees in the 
spring of 1914. One colony made seven dollars and fifty cents 
worth of honey in a season. 

A ton of fish a week was shipped from Colusa in February, 
1913. They were mostly salmon, although there wei-e many bass 
and catfish among them. 

The first shad was put into the Sacramento Eiver on June 25, 
1871. E. T. Niebliug brought some carp down from Julius AVey- 
and's place near Stonyford in 1883 and put them in the river, but 
these were probably not the first carp in the river. 

In June, 1881, ten merchants and saloon-keepers of Maxwell 
were arrested for keeping their places of business open on 

In 1873 there were twenty-nine people in the county owning 
over five thousand acres each. Col. L. F. Moulton was first, with 
30,429 acres. 

In 1850 the population of the county was 115 ; in 1860 it was 
2,274; in 1870 it was 5,088; in 1880, 9,750; in 1890, 14,640; in 1900, 
after county di\'ision, 7,364 ; and in 1910, 7,732. 

The town of Sites was laid out on July 21, 1886. The shutting- 
down of the quarries about 1910 hit it a lick that almost laid it 
out again, and the decease of the Colusa & Lake Railroad in 1915 
practically finished the job. 



Colusa County Today 
General Features 

Colusa County today is indeed a prosperous land. It is not 
the closely populated territory, with a home on every twenty acres 
and a village every three or four miles, that the early settlers who 
had come from such conditions hack East thought it would he long 
hefore this time. In some respects it is in certain sections much as 
the pioneers found it, with broad expanses of level land, and a 
house or a fence only here and there to break the view to the 
horizon. Of course these great expanses now grow barley, where 
once they grew wild flowers and wild oats; but the people who 
inhabit them have much the same freedom as pioneers. The fact 
that the county is not thickly populated makes more room and 
more freedom and more wealth for those who are here, and 
they like it. 

Roughly speaking, the county today is a vast barley field, with 
an orchard or a patch of alfalfa interspersed here and there, a 
section of almonds and grapes about Arbuckle and College City, 
a fringe of fruit trees and alfalfa along the river on the east, a 
fringe of mountains on the west, and a streak of green rice fields 
along the Trough and extending out onto the plains in the Maxwell 
country. One incorporated city of the sixth class, Colusa, and 
seven unincorporated towns or villages contain that part of the 
population which is inclined to be urban in its tastes. These 
towns are Princeton, Grimes, College City, Arbuckle, Williams, 
Maxwell and Stonyford; and I shall take them up more in detail 
a little later on. Sites, Lodoga, Leesville, Sulphur Creek, Venado, 
Berlin, Colusa Junction, Delevan and Sycamore are very small 
places, all of which, except Colusa Junction and Sulphur Creek, 
have post offices, and most of winch were at one time more pros- 
perous than they are today. The winds of fate, which blow busi- 
ness and population from one town to another, and sometimes 
play strange pranks with bustling communities, have left these 
little places to one side of the current of life, where they dream 
in quiet somnolence. This may not be altogether true at present 
of Sulphur Creek, which is undergoing a boom just now, owing to 
the greatly increased price of quicksilver. 


■ General Statistics 

Colusa County contains 1080 square miles of territory, or 
691,200 acres, divided into 750 farms averaging- 920 acres to a 
farm. Of this land, 450,000 acres is well adapted to agriculture, 
30,000 acres is rather rough foothill grain land, and the balance 
is grazing or mountain land. There are 1140 miles of public road, 
40 miles of which is paved with concrete. In 1905 there were six 
miles of irrigating ditches watering 500 acres. Now there are 150 
miles of ditches watering 35,000 acres. 

The assessed valuation in the county is $15,594,796. There 
are in the county 19,732 cattle, 12,744 hogs, 3,244 mules, 4,459 
horses, 28,084 sheep, 147 goats, and 1,116 dozen poultry ; and there 
are 34 veterans exempt from part of their taxes. (I am giving 
the statistics as I find them on the assessor's rolls.) I have given 
the statistics on the various industries in their proper chapters, 
and they need not be repeated here. 

County Officials 

This county is blessed with as fine a set of county officers as 
could be found anywhere. It is many years since we have had 
any kind of scandal arising from malfeasance in office, and from 
present appearances it will be many more years before we have 
any. The present officers are Ernest Weyand, Superior Judge; 
T.D. Cain, County Clerk and Recorder; C. D. Stanton, Sheriff; 
E. R. Graham, Treasurer; J. F. Rich, Auditor; Adam Sutton, 
Assessor; Miss Perle Sanderson, Superintendent of Schools; J. 
W. Kaerth, Surveyor; Alva A. King, District Attorney; Ed. W. 
Tennant, Tax Collector; J. D. McNary, Coroner and Public Ad- 
ministrator; P. H. Northey, Sealer of Weights and Measures; C. 
J. AVescott, P. V. Berkey, G. B. Pence, Roscoe Rahm and W. W. 
Boardman, Supervisors; Dr. C. A. Poage, County Physician; Dr. 
G. ~W. Desrosier, County Health Officer; Dr. Norman Neilson, 
County Veterinarian; Luke R. Boedefeld, County Horticultural 
Commissioner; Mrs. Edna White, Superintendent of the County 
Hospital; Miss Louise Jamme, County Librarian; and S. J. Car- 
penter, Deputy Game Warden. 

The justices of the ])eace of the county are John B. Moore, 
Colusa ; C. K. Atran, Arbuckle ; J. W. Crutcher, Williams ; J. H. 
Lovelace, Maxwell; G. T. McGahan, Stonyford; Mrs. Edna 
Keeran, Princeton; and 0. M. Durham, Grimes. The constables 
are W. W. Walker, Colusa; Oscar Hoernlein, Arbuckle; H. A. 
Christopher, Williams; W. J. Ortner, Maxwell; G. S. Mason, 
Stonyford; C. M. Archer, Princeton; and George Ainger, Grimes. 



Colusa, the coi;nty seat, is the ouly incorporated city iu the 
county. It is situated on the river about midway of the eastern 
border of the county, and has a population of 1,582, according to 
the census of 1910; and it has grown but little since then. The 
extensions, Goads and Coopers, one at either end of the town, 
bring the population up to about 2,000. 

Colusa was established in 1850, as we have seen in a preced- 
ing chapter. It grew slowly but steadily for the first forty years 
of its existence ; but more recently it has not grown much, having 
added only about two hundred fifty to its population in the past 
twenty-seven years. The town was incorporated in 1876, and got 
electric lights in 1900; but there was no other marked change in 
its existence till 1909, when it woke up and made progress in 
strides that must have startled its old inhabitants. On August 31, 
1909, the electors of the town voted bonds in the sum of $50,000 
for a new water-works, and a like amount for a sewer system ; and 
then the town got caught in the wave of progress that swept over 
the state in 1910 and the years immediately following, and improve- 
ments came so rapidly that it was hard to keep up with them. 
The water-works and sewer system were finished in 1910 and 
began operation; the steam laundry, which had been fighting shy 
of the town because there was no sewer system, came in 1910, and 
a second steam laundry came at about the same time; the Colusa 
Business Men's Association was organized in 1910, and for a time 
was very active; a second picture show, the Gem Theater, was 
opened in 1910 ; and the Colusa County Bank remodeled its build- 
ing that year. In 1911 the First National Bank building and the 
O'Eourke building were put up, and the town trustees ordered 
sidewalks down in all parts of town included in the ' ' fire limits. ' ' 
In 1912 the Gamewell fire alarm system was installed, and J. M. 
Phillips began in June to sign up contracts for street paving. 
Market Street was paved up as far as Eighth that fall, the work 
beginning on October 23. The next year, 1913, the paving on 
Market Street was completed, Fifth Street and parts of Sixth and 
Jay were' paved, a swat-the-fly campaign and general sanitary 
cleaning up was begun and vigorously carried on, and the old 
Cooke water-works, built in 1870, was bought by the town and put 
out of business. In 1914 electroliers were placed on Market and 
Fifth Streets, and preliminary steps in the paving of Tenth Street 
were taken. All this time sidewalks were being laid in different 
parts of town, and moral conditions were being greatly improved, 
so that by the time the five years from 1910 to 1915 were past, 


Colusa was a different town. In 1917 the people voted $65,000 
bonds for a new grammar school, and then decided that that 
wasn't enough and voted $20,000 more. Principally under the 
direction of Dr. E. S. Holloway, one of the finest school buildings 
in the state has been erected. This year the fire department got 
a new auto chemical engine and placed itself in the ranks of the 
best-equipped fire departments in the state. 

Colusa today has three good banks, the Colusa County, the 
First National and the First Savings; three general stores, J. J. 
O'Eourke, H. D. Braly & Company, and Mrs. J. S. Malsbary; a 
woman's store, the Scoggins-Sartain Company; three groceries, 
the Haukins Estate, Stowe & Padgitt, and H. R. Putmau & Sous ; 
two lumber companies, the Colusa Lumber Company and the Gren- 
fell Lumber Company; .an art and china store, B. A. Pryor; a 
harness store, the Colusa Harness Company, owned by Mrs. J. . 
Mason; a furniture store, the Jacobsou Furniture Company; three 
hardware stores, Messick & Kirkpatrick, G. W. Tibbetts, and B. 
H. Mitchell ; a farm machinery agency, the Colusa Implement 
Company; a men's clothing and furnishing store. Brown & Com- 
pany, of Marysville; two drug stores, Oscar Robinson and J. R. 
Cajaeob; a millinery store. Miss Hattie Boggs; three ice-cream 
parlors and candy stores, George W. South, Miss Fannie Burrows, 
and J. R. Joseph ; a stationery and candy store, George A. Finch ; 
three cigar stores, G. J. Kammerer, Baum & Minasian, and Moore 
& Severson ; a bakery, Montgomery & Walker ; a plumbing estab- 
lishment, the James Roche Estate; an electric store, Doren Rus- 
sell; two butcher shops. Comfort & Hougland and Johnsen & 
Richter; a tailor, S. Edmands; fifteen saloons, E. P. Jones, J. H. 
Busch, L. A. Moore, B. H. Probst, Milde & Class, Goldsmith & 
Gurnsey, Fred Watson, Wing Sing & Company, Roche Bros., 
Tozai Company, J. L. Erisey, R. L. Welch, W. S. Brooks, John 
Osterle, and James O'Leary; two second-hand stores, A. Weiss 
and John Klein; seven garages, Merrifield & Preston, Westcamp 
& Sparks, Colusa County Garage, Overland Garage, Frank L. 
Crayton, the Service Garage, and Fred Martin ; six barber shops. 
Ward & South, George St. Louis, J. D. Lopez, Moore & Severson, 
Nick Chuvas, and Doc Cramer; six grain-buyers, John L. Jackson, 
A. B. Jackson, H. H. Hicok & Son, H. G. Monsen, E. P. McNeal, 
and Scott Bros.; one rice broker, J. W. Sperry; five real estate 
dealers, F. B. Pryor, John C. Mogk, J. B. DeJarnatt, B. D. Beck- 
with, and Campbell & Barlow; two groceterias, one kept by the 
Scoggins-Sartain Company and the other by the bakery; a tamale 
parlor, Mrs. A. Pinales; two pool-rooms, G. J. Kammerer and 
Moore & Severson; a creamery, the Colusa Butter Company; a 


soda works, Mrs. T. F. Phillips; two shoemakers, A. B. Cooper 
and "\^. Maroviteh; three restaurants, Mrs. L. A. Moore, Kufolias 
Bros., and the Colusa Cafe and Grill ; two cleaning works, H. S. 
Saladin and J. R. Manville; two hotels, the Eiverside and the Na- 
tioual-Eureka ; four rooming houses, the Commercial, the Eagle, 
the Shasta, and the Cooper; a photographer, W. A. Gillett; a 
foundry and machine shoi3, T. E. Maroney; a flouring mill, the 
Colusa Milling and Grain Company; two undertakers, J. D. Mc- 
Nary & Son and Sullivan Bros. ; four contractors, W. C. Blean, 
Henry Von Dorsten, A. P. Staple, and L. S. Lewis ; two moving 
picture shows, the Gem by C. C. Kaufman and the Star by Hilde- 
brand &: Lucientes ; three warehouse companies, the Colusa Ware- 
house Company, the Farmers Storage Company, and the Sacra- 
mento River Warehouse Company; three blacksmiths, C. W. 
Young, Anthony & Son, and Martin Thim ; two wagon-makers, J. 
P. Muttersbach and J. R. Totman; a taxi service, AV. A. Gillett; 
two painting firms, L. H. Fitch & Sous and White Bros. ; a bicycle 
repair shop, Clifford D. Brown; two gasoline service stations, J. 
C. Ohrt and Royal Kenny; a steam laundry, W. H. Graham; an 
express and delivery service, Ed. Butler; four draying firms, Tot- 
man & Cleveland, S. A. Ottenwalter, George Ross, and C. M. Jack- 
son ; the Union Ice Company ; the Standard Oil Company and the 
Union Oil Company ; two newspapers, the Sun and the Herald ; 
three doctors. Dr. C. A. Poage, Dr. W. T. Rathbuu, and Dr. G. W. 
Desrosier; an osteopath. Dr. F. H. McCormack; a veterinarian. 
Dr. Norman Neilson ; four dentists, Dr. E. S. Holloway, Dr. F. Z. 
Pirkey, Dr. P. J. Wilkins, and Dr. E. L. Hicok; an architect, 
Robert L. Holt; ten lawyers, Thomas Rutledge, U. W. Brown, 
Harmon Albery, W. J. King, A. A. King, Ben Ragain, I. G. 
Zumwalt, Seth Millington, Sr., Seth Millington, Jr., and Clifford 
Rutledge. There are also two lawyers who do not practice their 
profession, John T. Harrington and Phil B. Arnold. The town 
has schools, churches, and lodges, a Carnegie library, a telephone 
system and telegraph connection. It had two livery stables, but 
the encroachments of the auto caused both to quit business with- 
in the past year. 


Williams is the second town in size in the county, having 
about 1,000 people. It was laid out l^y W. H. Williams in 1876; 
and as the railroad reached it shortly thereafter, it was soon a 
thriving village. Its churches, lodges, schools and newspaper have 
already been mentioned in these pages. In addition, it has a sub- 
stantial bank, electric lights, a water-works, a modern high school, 
more paved streets than any other town of its size in California, 


a branch statiou of the Standai-d Oil Compauy, two blaeksmitbs, 
and a frnit store. 

One of the largest department stores in the connty is located 
at Williams, that of the George C. Comstock Company, Incorpo- 
rated. Entrican & George have a grocery; J. F. Fouch & Son, a 
drug store; E. J. Worsley, a harness store; J. E. Mitchell, a 
butcher shop; and T. G. Anson and Joe Lanouette, cigar stores. 
Ed. Gimblin is a plumber ; the A. F. Webster Company handle real 
estate; H. H. Rathbun and Mrs. R. Y. Lynch sell candy and soft 
drinks ; Al. Hausman has a bakery ; and A. B. Levy is a graiu- 
luiyer. There are three garages in town, Quigley's, the City Gar- 
age, and the Central Garage. Its flouring mill was mentioned in 
a former chapter. It has two doctors, Dr. A. W. Kimball and Dr. 
Ney M. Salter. 


Arbuckle, ''the home of the almond," has been mentioned a 
number of times in these pages. It was laid out in 1875 by T. R. 
Arbuckle, who stimulated its growth by giving town lots to those 
who would build on them. It is now the metropolis of the south- 
ern part of the county, having a population of about 700. It is 
the town that put the "am" in almond, and it reaps a lot of cash 
from the transaction. It is the home of D. S. Nelson, the almond 
king; but he is seldom at home, being generally "over at Es- 
parto," "out in the orchard," or "gone to Hershey." It has 
three blocks of paved streets and two blocks of paved sidewalks, 
and is a "fine town for a dentist, but can't get any," according 
to the report sent me. 

Arbuckle has three general stores, two hardware stores, two 
drug stores, two plumbers and tinners, two restaurants, two real 
estate dealers, three garages, two grain-buyers, one lawyer, a 
hotel, a bank, a harness store, a furniture store, a butcher shop, 
a candy and soft-drink emporium, a bakery, a newspaper, an elec- 
tric shop, a tailor shop, a feed and seed store, a jewelry store, a 
lumber yard, a branch station of the Union Oil Company, and a 
sanitarium. It is the only town in the county having a rural free 
delivery mail route, an advantage due to the closely settled -com- 
munity lying about the town. In other places the real estate men 
do all the lying about the town. Owing to the great success of 
the almond and raisin industries in its vicinity, Arbuckle will un- 
doubtedly grow rapidly and substantially in the next few years. 


Maxwell was started in 1878, about the time the railroad went 
through that territory. It was first called Occident; but the name 


was afterward clianged to honor an early resident, George Max- 
well. It has a population of 550. It has a fine new Odd Fellows' 
hall, a modern town hall, a bank, a hotel, fine school buildings, 
four blocks of paved streets, and nearly all the conveniences of 
modern life. Benjamin Smith and the Eochdale Company have 
general stores; Kaerth & Lausten, a hardware store; Arthur J. 
Fouch, a drug store ; Dave Schwenk, a harness store ; Lee Brown, 
a furniture store; ^Y. E. Yarbrough, a butcher shop; G. I. Stor- 
mer, a cigar store; James H. Ellis, a creamery; Mrs. Susie Hall, 
a millinery store; and J. A. Graham, a shoe shop. George L. 
Harden is a real estate dealer; Henry Kraft and A. J. Beckers 
are blacksmiths; J. A. Constable, a well-driller; and Lee Brown, 
a building contractor. There are two garages in the town, con- 
ducted by Eli Triplett and George B. Brown. The Tribune keeps 
the people informed on the news of the day. 


Princeton was a road house in 1851, and if that could be called 
the beginning of the town it is probably the second oldest town in 
the county. Its population is 250, but it is destined to take a boom 
as soon as the Colusa & Hamilton Eailroad gets well established. 
It has river transportation and a railroad with a daily freight 
service, but no passenger trains ; a ferry across the river ; a great 
hope for a bridge, and a fixed determination to have one ; and four 
daily auto stage lines. It has a good bank, housed in a fine build- 
ing of its own, branches of the Standard Oil Company and Union 
Oil Company, a public drinking fountain, a church, a good public 
school, a fine high school with gymnasium and manual training- 
shop, and a tireless booster for the town in the person of Mrs. 

C. W. CockeriU. 

Ed Barham and the Hocker-Cannon Company keep general 
stores ; E. L. Hemstreet has a groceiy ; Johnsen & Eichter, a 
butcher shop; D. S. Baker and W. A. Boyes, candy and soft 
drinks; Melvin Weaver, a bakery; P. W. Feeny, a garage; and 

D. A. Newton, a hotel. The Colusa Lumber Comi^any has a 
branch at Princeton. Mallon & Blevins and L. L. Grieve deal in 
real estate. 


Grimes is a strong competitor of Princeton for the honor of 
lieing the second oldest town in the county — that is, if one house 
could be called the beginnings of a town. Both towns trace their 
origin back to 1851, but whether Helphenstine's house at Prince- 
ton or Grimes' house at Grimes was built first I do not know. 
Grimes, wliich was named for Cleatou Grimes and his brother, 


who built on the site of the town in 1851, has a population of 250. 
It has rail and river transportation; and as it is the center of a 
very rich territory, it ships a great deal of produce. It has a 
bank, telephone connection, two warehouse companies, Odd Fel- 
lows and Eebekah lodges, a church, and schools. 

General stores are kept by Smith & Company and George D. 
Megonigal; a hardware store, by W. F. Howell; a drug store, by 
L. V. Nanscawen; a harness store, by Peter Krohn; a butcher 
shop, by H. L. Houchins & Son ; a cigar and candy store, by J. S. 
Woods; and garages, by M. C. Dillman and Clipp Bros. J. M. 
Dixon and A. A. Thayer, Jr., are grain-buyers ; and J. W. Ask is 
a plumber and tinner; and there are two blacksmith shops, three 
building contractors, the Florindale creamery, and the Grimes 
bakery. Grimes is at present the center of the sugar-beet indus- 
try in the county. The town leads all the other towns in the 
county, and probably in the United States, in the amount of 
money per capita that it put up for the Y. M. C. A. war fund, 
having subscribed $5,339 in one evening, and considerable since 
that meeting. Colusa raised $6,200 at its meeting for the same 
purpose ; Arbuckle-College City, $4,200 ; and Williams, $4,000. 
College City 

College City had its beginning in 1871, when Andrew Pierce 
died and left his land and money for the founding of Pierce 
Christian College, from which the town takes its name. The first 
college building was erected in 1874; and from that time on, for 
about twenty years, College City was a very lively place. By 
"lively" I do not mean what is usually meant when towns are 
spoken of as lively ; namely, factories, and a pay roll with a lot of 
it spent in carousing, bright lights and much noise at night, con- 
stant shifting of the po])ulation, and that sort of thing. College 
City had none of that. It had a life of its own. By the terms of 
his will, Mr. Pierce had forbidden for all time the sale of liquor 
on the premises ; and College City has never had a saloon. Con- 
sequently it has never had the "life" that has flowed abundantly 
in other communities ; but it was a community of high ideals, and 
a place to which its people were devotedly attached. When the 
college closed its doors, about 1894, the town suffered a severe 
blow; but it has continued to exist, even with the handicap that 
has killed so many towns : a railroad passing near by and bringing 
a competing town. Today the population of College City is about 
150. It has a good high school, a church, a general store, a har- 
ness store, an ice-cream parlor, and a blacksmith shop. It is on 
the Colusa & Hamilton branch of the Southern Pacific Eailroad, 
and may take on new life when that road gets fully into operation. 



Stonyford is the only important mountain town in the county. 
It was started by a man with the good old American name, John 
Smith, and was called Smithville — an equally standard name. In 
the summer of 1890 the Stony Creek Improvement Company 
bought the town, moved it half a mile to higher ground, and 
renamed it Stonyford. The town at that time consisted chiefly of 
a good flouring mill and a commodious hotel, l)oth of which were 
greatly improved by the company, which had visions of a great 
metropolis in the little mountain valley with its enchanting sum- 
mer climate and its magnificent views. The village now has a 
population of about 90, and does a considerable business in sum- 
mer with campers, hunters, fishermen and other pleasure-seekers. 
It is surrounded by beautiful green alfalfa fields watered from 
Big Stony Creek, and is an ideal sj^ot in summer. It has a town 
hall, two churches, a Masonic hall, a hotel, and telephone com- 
munication. D. J. Westapher and A. R. Bickford & Company 
keep general stores, and the latter firm handles fresh meat. There 
are a restaurant, a candy and soft drink establishment, a cream- 
ery, a blacksmith shop, and a feed stable. 

In Conclimon 

To those who have had the patience to follow thus far the 
story herein set down., let me say that no attempt has been made 
to give this work any particular literary flavor. I have tried to 
confine myself to a plain statement of facts, especially those facts 
that would help the reader to understand the tendencies of the 
times, and appreciate the changes that have taken place in the 
past, and that are today taking place, in this county of ours. I 
realize that this is only a fragmentary work. A dozen volumes 
like this could not hold the history of Colusa County, if it were all 
written. But I have tried to touch the "high spots," the im- 
portant points, to the end that those who may in the future wish 
to know how the foundations of their civilization were laid, and 
who were the builders of the superstructure, may find some help 
from the perusal of these pages. 


By Mrs. Rcbcccu T. Lambrrt 


Topographic and Industrial Features 

Glenn County lies in the heart of the great Sacramento Valley, 
midway between San Francisco Bay on the south and Mt. Shasta 
on the north. From the river westward there is a gradual slope 
for a distance of twenty miles to the first low range of foothills. 
For an equal distance the ascent then becomes more rapid, over 
each succeeding range of hills, to the summit of the Coast Eauge 
mauntains which form the western boundary of the county, ter- 
minating at Mt. Hull on the north and Snow Mountain on the 
south. The southern boundary follows the township line between 
townships seventeen and eighteen; and the northern, the one 
intersecting the river a short distance above its confluence with 
Stony Creek. Stony Creek has its source in the Coast Range 
mountains iu Colusa County, and flows in a general northerly 
direction, increasing in volume as the drainage creeks, Briscoe, Elk 
and Grindstone, enter from the west. Near the north line of the 
county it breaks through the low range of foothills near the 
Miller Buttes, west of Orland, and flows in an easterly direction 
across the plains to its confluence with the Sacramento River. 
Geologists claim that what is now Stony Creek Valley was, during 
a recent era of world development, a lake having its outlet to the 
south into Clear Lake in Lake County, and then through Cache 
Creek to the Sacramento River. Stony Creek is the only stream 
of any importance in California that flows for any great distance 
in a direction opposite to the river whicji it finally joins. Willow, 
Walker and Hambright Creeks have their sources in the foothills 
separating Stony Creek Valley from the plains, and are only 
drainage creeks carrying a flow of water during the winter and 
spring months. Willow and Walker Creeks do not reach the river, 
but empty their flood waters into a slight depression a few miles 
west of the river, known as "the Trough." 

Glenn County contains eight hundred fifty thousand acres of 
land, approximately four hundred thousand acres of which is 
level or valley land. Nearly all of this area is irrigable, either by 


gravity flow from tlie Orland Project canal and the Central Canal, 
or from pumping wells. Just west of the plains the low range 
of foothills is mainly farmed to grain, and contains many wide 
valleys of wonderful fertility. Continuing westward the hills 
become steeper and slightly wooded, and the valleys much nar- 
rower. This section of wooded hills contains about one hundred 
fifty thousand acres, and forms the divide between the Stony 
Creek Valley and the plains. Grazing is the chief industry here. 
On the bottom lands of the Stony Creek Valley alfalfa is raised 
extensively, and dairying is very profitable. Poultry, cattle, sheep 
and hogs are raised in large numbers. From the creek bottom 
the bench land or high plateau continues westward to the foot of 
the Coast Eange mountains. Nestled close to the base of these 
mountains is a narrow strip of land known as the Thermal Belt, 
where severe frosts are unknown and both almonds and fruit do. 
well. The Coast Eange mountains which form the western boun- 
dary are covered with pine timber and form a great recreation 
ground for the people of the county, as well as affording valuable 
summer pasturage for stock. Lumbering is carried on on a small 
scale, but the greater part of the district is included in the Cali- 
fornia National Forest and is under the control of the Federal 
government. This mountainous portion of the county contains 
close to two hundred thousand acres. Since the time of the early 
settlements, conditions in the hills have never undergone any 
radical change. It is in the varying industries of the plains — 
from the advent of the hunter and trapper, creeping stealthily 
down the river, setting snares and pitfalls for the happy denizens 
of the forests on its banks ; through the eras of the early stockmen, 
whose countless herds roamed the plains at will, and the gTcat 
grain farmers, with their thousands of acres of wheat and barley ; 
to the vanishing of these before the conjuror. Water, by whose 
wizard touch the plains were dotted with those garden spots, the 
alfalfa fields and orchards of the intensive farmer — that the 
economic historv of the countv is writ. 


The Pathfinders 

In the early times in California, all the traffic between San 
Francisco and Oregon was by boat; and the only people who 
attempted a trip on land were the hunters and trappers who fol- 
lowed the hills and streams, where game was more abundant. 


The first trapper about whom there is any authentic iuformatiou 
was Jedediah S. Smith, who was a pathfinder in reality, if not in 
title, for he was the first man to make the journey to California 
from the United States overland. From the post of a fur com- 
pany on Great Salt Lake, Smith was sent out in 1826 on an 
exploring trip for the mapping out of a future field of operations. 
He traveled southward to the Colorado, came into California by 
the Southern Pass, and crossed the Mojave Desert to San Gabriel. 
In May, with only two companions, he returned to Salt Lake, ac- 
complishing in this trip the first crossing of the Sierras. It is not 
with the details of this trip that a history of this county is con- 
cerned, as his activities were confined to the southern part of the 
state. Soon after his return to Salt Lake, however, he started on 
his second journey to California, arriving with eight companions in 
October, 1827. Falling under the suspicion of the Mexican 
authorities, who looked upon his comings and goings with great 
disfavor, on issue of orders Smith was brought before them at 
San Jose. Here he Avas released on a bond signed by his country- 
man. Captain Cooper of Monterey, who became responsible with his 
person and property for the good behavior of one Jedediah S. 
Smith. Smith, with his party now increased to nineteen, left San 
Francisco in the winter of 1827-1828 and proceeded northward by 
a coast route. While fording the Umpqua River, they were 
attacked by hostile Indians, who killed fifteen of the party and 
stole all their belongings. Smith, Turner and two others escaped 
to Fort Vancouver, one of the Hudson Bay Company's posts, 
whence McLoughlin, the agent, despatched a party southward to 
avenge the nuirder of Smith's companions and recover their 
stolen goods. This party was under the command of a man named 
McLeod, and, guided by Turner, not only recovered Smith's stolen 
propertj' from the Indians but also had a most successful hunting- 
trip down the Sacramento Valley. Thus, although Smith himself 
never set foot in the Sacramento Valley, he was directly respon- 
sible for its exploration by the trappers of the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany, who, until this time, had always turned their attention 
northward. McLeod, on his return to Fort Vancouver, was caught 
in a hard snowstorm in the Pitt River country. He lost most of 
his animals and was forced to leave his furs, which were ruined by 
the melting snows. Tradition has it that the McCloud River 
derives its appellation from a corruption of the name McLeod. 

The next man sent out by the Hudson Bay Comjoany was 
Ogden. He entered the Sacramento Valley about the time McLeod 
left it. For eight months he trapped the length and breadth of the 
valley, obtaining a great stock of furs, and finally returned north- 
ward by McLeod 's trail. 


In 1832 Ewing Young and J. J. Warner made a trip up the 
valley to the head waters of the Sacramento Eiver, returning in 
1833. Few details of this trip are obtainable except those con- 
cerning the great i^estilence, which almost decimated the Indian 
population of the valley. During the next decade permanent set- 
tlements began to push their waj' northward along the paths 
broken by the hunter and trapper. Sutter's colony at New 
Helvetia was established ; and in 1839 Sutter was appointed repre- 
sentative of the Mexican government on the Sacramento frontier, 
with the official Mexican title of Encargado de justicia y repre- 
sentante del gobierno en las fronteras del Kio del Sacramento, and 
was given full authority to enforce justice among the settlers and 
suppress insurrection by hostile Indians. By wise and careful 
exercise of this power, he made friends of most of the Indians 
and commanded the respect of the unfriendly tribes. His lieu- 
tenants were frequently compelled to make long journeys north- 
ward in the enforcement of his commands. It was on one such 
trip, when trying to recover some stolen horses, that John Bid- 
well, the most famous jjioneer of Butte County, first saw the land 
on which he located the grant afterwards known as the Rancho 
Chico. The following description, quoted from Bidwell's journal, 
gives a vivid account of the impression produced upon him by 
that portion of the Sacramento Valley, in its pristine loveliness : 

"The plains were dotted with scattering groves of spreading 
oaks; while the clover and wild grasses, three or four feet high, 
weTe most luxuriant. The fertility of the soil was beyond ques- 
tion. The water of Chico Creek was cold, clear and sparkling; tlie 
mountains, flower-covered and lovely. In my chase for stolen 
horses I had come across a country that was to me a revelation; 
and as I proceeded up the valley, through what was later Colusa 
County and beyond it, I was struck with wonder and delight at 
this almost interminable land of promise." 

Far-reaching Influence of Tliouias 0. Larkin 

Probably few readers of the local press, when they see in the 
daily paper items concerning the Larkin School, or Larkin Farm 
Center, or find mention in the title records of Larkin 's Children's 
Grant, realize the application of the name or connect it with that 
of the first United States Consul in California. When thirty years 
of age, Thomas 0. Larkin came out to California, in 1832, at the 
request of his half-brother, Captain Cooper, who was a merchant 
at Monterey. One of his fellow passengers on board the New- 
castle, the vessel on which he made the trip, was Mrs. John C. 
Holmes, the first American woman to come to California. She was 


coming out to join her husband; but on her arrival, after a long 
and tedious voyage by way of Honolulu, she found herself a 
widow in a strange land. Captain Holmes had died soon after 
she started on the voyage. The next year Mrs. Holmes was 
married to Thomas 0. Larkin, the ceremony being performed by 
Consul Jones of Honolulu on board the ship Volunteer, at Santa 
Barbara. Six children were born of this union, the oldest son, 
Thomas 0. Larkin, Jr., being the first child of American parentage 
born in California. Larkin engaged in a general merchandise 
business in Monterey, adding as side lines lumbering, flour milling, 
and various other branches as time and occasion seemed to war- 
rant, all of which prospered under his management. Lack of early 
opportunity had deprived him of educational advantages ; but his 
native ability, combined with tact and unimpeachable integrity, 
gradually raised him to the position of one of the most influential 
men in California at that period. He was unfailingly kind in help- 
ing emigrants and his compatriots, but held himself aloof from 
siding with any faction or set of filibusters. In 1843 he was ap- 
pointed United States Consul at Monterey; and during 1845-46 he 
acted as confidential agent for the United States in endeavoring 
to forestall the efforts of those who wished to establish an 
English protectorate over California. In fulfilling this mission, 
Larkin was unselfishly devoted to the interests of his government, 
turning his private business over to a subordinate and giving his 
entire time to maintaining friendly relations witli the native I'ali- 
fornians, and to overcoming as much as possible the bitterness 
engendered by the premature activities of the Bear Flag leaders. 
All historians of the i^eriod agree that Larkin was far superior in 
statesmanship to most of the other actors in the drama of winning 
California for the United States; and the closest scrutiny of all 
his acts fails to reveal anything not in accord with the best ideals 
of American diplomacy. Bancroft says of Larkin that he was a 
man to whom nothing like just credit has been given for his ser- 
vices during 1845-1846. 

Bidicell 's Exploration 

Larkin wished to obtain from the Mexican government a 
grant of ten or twelve square leagues for his children, and engaged 
John Bidwell to find a level tract for him suitable for that pur- 
pose. In the summer of 1844 Bidwell set out on an exploring trip 
up the west side of the Sacramento "\^alley. He took with him 
only one man, an Indian, who was to act as interpreter. A 
little way north of Colusa, wishing to know something of the soil 


conditions, they turned west from the river to explore the plain. 
That summer was a very hot one, following a dry winter, and in 
their travels they observed many deserted Indian villages where 
the springs had dried up. Not having found any drinking water 
during the day, Bidwell decided to strike into the hills to the 
west, feeling certain of finding water there sooner than by return- 
ing to the river. The next morning they came in sight of Stony 
Creek, or Capay, as the Indians called it. Large numbers of 
Indians who were camped along the creek fled at their approach, 
a white man being an unaccountable phenomenon to them. Grad- 
ually, curiosity overcoming their fear, the Indians returned in 
such numbers that Bidwell and his companion became alarmed; 
but the savages manifested no hostile intentions, merely attempt- 
ing to talk to him in a dialect which neither he nor his guide un- 
derstood. Bidwell 's guide tried to explain to the Indians why 
they were there; but only one very, very old Indian could make 
out what the guide was trying to tell them. 

Knowing that such a large stream must make its way to the 
river, Bidwell decided to follow its course. To his great surprise 
the number of Indians increased by many hundreds as he pro- 
ceeded. Apparently the dry season had caused them to form 
temporary villages along the creek. By nightfall the number of 
Indians seemed so alarming that, believing discretion to be the 
better part of valor, Bidwell pitched his camp on top of the high 
hill just opposite the present town of Elk Creek, and made the 
Indians understand as best he could that they must not approach 
it after dark. Then, barricading the top with rocks, he and his 
guide divided the watches of the night between them. The next- 
day was July 4, 1844. During the day, Bidwell passed the largest 
permanent Indian tillage be had yet seen. From his description 
of its location this must have been on the Brownell ranch, west 
of Orland. Here the Indians held a big dance attired in their 
gayest regalia, consisting chiefly of beads and feathers. Finally, 
on the sixth of the month, after making a complete circuit of the 
present county of Glenn, Bidwell mapped out the Larkin's Chil- 
dren's Grant, extending from Fairview schoolhouse on the west 
to a point due east on the Sacramento Eiver, and thence south to 
the south line of the Boggs ranch, in Colusa County. In 1846 the 
grant was settled on by John S. Williams, who was employed by 
Larkin for that purpose; and the place was stocked with cattle 
and horses. "Williams is said to have built the first house in Colusa 



The Indiaxs 
Their Number and Their Origin 

Owing to their nomadic habits, it was impossible to obtain 
accurate information as to the number of Indians in Colusa County 
at the time of its first settlement by white men. General John 
Bidwell, who was probably more familiar with all the county 
than any other man at that time, estimated the number in 1844 
as somewhere near ten thousand. This estimate was for the ter- 
ritory afterward embraced in the first proclamation of Colusa 
County, when the northern boundary extended to Red Bluff. 
Nature, so prodigal in her gifts of soil and climate to the valley, 
proved a too indulgent mother to her children, for she robbed 
them of all incentive to help themselves by supplying all their 
needs Jierself. 

The Digger Indians of the interior valleys of California lack 
the picturesque qualities and noble bearing of the other red men 
of North America ; and our interest centers around them and their 
manners and customs chiefly because they were the immediate 
predecessors of the pioneers in the possession of this beautiful 
valley. • They were a lethargic race of people, whose chief vice 
was laziness and — paradoxical as it may sound — most of whose 
virtues were the result of that vice. Some ethnologists claim that 
the Indians of North America are a branch of the yellow race, 
and are of Asiatic origin; that centuries ago there was a land 
connection across Behriug Strait between Asia and North America, 
and that across this erstwhile isthmus, members of the yellow race 
made their way to a new continent, where, amid different sur- 
roundings, they gradually developed new racial characteristics. 
Some corroboration of this theory might be found in the physical 
appearance of the Diggers, whose broad faces and comparatively 
flat noses would seem to indicate an Asiatic origin. 

Their Mode of Living 

The Diggers were the least advanced of any of the North 
American Indians, their mode of living being extremely primitive. 
Some of their food was cooked, as their cakes or tortillas, which 
were made from acorn meal ; but by far the greater portion was 
eaten directly from Nature's table. Fish, small game, insects, 
acorns, and wild oats and various other seeds, formed their prin- 
cipal diet. The seeds of a small blue flowering plant which grew 
wild on the plains was considered an especial delicacy by them. 


The squaws performed the harvesting and threshing in one opera- 
tion, by shaking the seed-laden heads over the edge of a basket. 

When the salmon were running plentifully during the spring 
and fall, great numbers of tlie Indians camped along the river 
near Colusa. Some miles north of Colusa, at the location of a 
wide sand bar, after the spring floods were over, they constructed 
a fish weir across the river by driving in willow poles close to- 
gether, and in this way were able to catch large numbers of fish, 
which would not return to salt water until after they had spawned. 
In preparing the willow poles for the weir, they rounded and 
sharpened them by burning. To these, cross sticks were lashed 
with thongs of wild grape vine. The structure, when completed, 
was not less than eight feet wide, and served also as a bridge 
across the river. This is the only instance where the Indians 
evinced any ingenuity, or put forth any effort to turn existing con- 
ditions to their advantage. 

Their game was such as could be easily captured by the 
setting of snares and pitfalls, the indolent bucks preferring to 
lie stretched out at ease while their quarry walked into their 
traps, rather than to exert themselves in the more arduous and 
exciting pleasure of the chase. 

Maimers and Customs 

The squaws generally wore short aprons made of tules or 
rushes tied around the waist; but the men and children went 
naked. In winter, the skin of a deer or antelope, thrown over 
the shoulders, afforded some degree of protection against the 
elements; and on very cold days this was supplemented by a 
liberal coating of mud over the body, which was washed off 
when the temperature changed. Shells and feathers, particularly 
the feathers of the woodpecker and the eagle, were very highly 
prized as ornaments by both sexes. 

In winter the Indians lived in rude huts or shelters called 
wikiups. These were conical-shaped structures about ten feet 
in diameter, and were thatched with leaves, grass or rushes. A 
number of wikiups together on the bank of a stream formed 
what was called a rancheria. 

There was no central or tribal government. Each rancheria 
had its own chief, its own dialect, and its own burying ground. 
Each rancheria had likewise one permanent building, called by 
the white men a "sweat-house." This was also conical in shape, 
the roof being formed of tree trunks ; and except for an outlet 
in the center, for smoke, it was plastered over with mud and 
dirt to make it air-tight. A low opening in the side gave egress 
and ingress. In this house all their ceremonial dances were 


held. The bucks formed a circle, leaping and dancing around 
the fire in the center; while back of them the squaws stood shift- 
ing their weight from one foot to the other, in time with the 
weird, monotonous chant. Between them and the outer walls 
the onlookers were crowded in, tlie more the merrier. When one 
of the bucks became so overheated that he could endure the 
dance no longer, he rushed from the building and plunged into 
the waters of the creek or river, as the case might be; for the 
sweat-house was alwaj'S built on the banks of some stream large 
enough to afford a convenient plunge. 

Opinions differ as to the significance of this custom, which 
was common to all Indians of the Pacific Coast. Various theories 
have been advanced, to the effect that it was a religious cere- 
mony, a harvest festival, a species of recreation, or a sanitary 
measure. If it was intended for the latter, it failed most woefully 
of fulfilling its purpose, particularly during smallpox epidemics, 
of which there were at least three, in the years 1829, 1833 and 
1856 respectively. Ewing Young, a trapper, who made a trip 
up and down this valley in 1833, said that he saw hundreds lying 
dead in the larger rancherias, due, no doubt, to the rapid spread 
of the contagion in the overheated air of the sweat-house. 

Little is definitely known concerning the religious beliefs of 
the Indians, as they had no written characters or symbols with 
which to record them. The Mission Fathers were too zealous 
in supplying the Southern Indians with a new creed to inquire 
much into what they were replacing; and the pioneers were too 
intent on their own affairs to bother their heads about what 
moral or religious belief governed the conduct of the Indians, 
so long as they were good Indians, from their point of view — 
that is, refrained from stealing their property, and from going 
on the warpath. A tradition of a flood in which only two crea- 
tures survived was common among all the Indians of California, 
the identity of these two varying according to locality. Some 
held it was a hawk and a mud turtle, others a coyote and an 
eagle, which, as the waters receded, created Indians to people 
the hills and the valleys. Whether they believed in a future 
state, or whether, in their view, rewards and punishments applied 
to this present existence, is not known. In support of the latter 
theory, may be cited their belief that grizzly bears were wicked 
men turned into beasts as a punishment for a tendencj^ to eat 
human flesh. 

Until the advent of the white man, the Indians were a fairly 
moral race of people. Chastity was greatly prized among them; 
and although marriage was easily contracted and dissolved by 
the mutual consent of both parties, they were faithful to its 


bonds while it lasted. Having little ambition to accumulate 
belongings, they were honest with each other. That they were 
not avaricious or calculating is shown by their manner of dis- 
posal of the effects of the dead, which were all buried with 
the corpse. There are people now living in the county who can 
remember plajdng as children on Stony Creek, north of Orland, 
and there discovering beads and relies from what was once an 
old Indian burying ground. 

The valley Indians were never hostile to the whites. They 
were too impassive even to attempt actively to resist the en- 
croachment of the settlers. Some of the hill and mountain In- 
dians, however, showed more spirit in this regard ; and as a 
result there were two or three quite serious outbreaks. 

Removal to the Noma Lacka Reservation 

In 1854 the Government made a reservation of land near 
Paskenta, called the Noma Lacka Reservation, for the Indians 
who were scattered over the hills and mountains, and who had 
been the source of considerable annoyance to the settlers. In 
June, 1855, the task of collecting and removing the Indians 
to the reservation began. Captain Williams and Joseph James 
went to a rancheria on Salt Creek, west of Elk Creek, to try 
to persuade the Indians there to move on to the reservation. 
The Indians surrounded and attacked them with arrows, killing 
Williams' mule and dangerously wounding James in the breast. 
The two men fought for their lives and finally succeeded in escap- 
ing, leaving several of their assailants dead on the field of battle. 
Even after the Indians had been placed on the reservation, they 
continued to make raids on the settlers. 

Later Depredations 

In I860, a baud of Indians from the reservation came over 
into the Elk Creek country and killed stock belonging to William 
Watson on Grindstone Creek. This offense was allowed to pass 
without punishment, and the next spring they repeated their 
raids, increasing their field of depredations. They robbed the 
ranch of Anderson and Briscoe, and drove off the friendly 
Indians who were working for them. 

In 1862, incited by a squaw named "Hatcreek Lize, " one 
of the Pitt River tribe, about thirty Indians made another raid 
into the Stony Creek Valley, this time killing William Watson, 
a Grindstone settler, and an Indian boy who was herding sheep 
for Mr. Darling, besides numberless head of cattle. Fully aroused 
by these audacious crimes, the settlers determined on vengeance. 


Fifteen men, led by Jack Lett of Stonyford, started in pursuit 
of the savages. On the way they were reinforced by an equal 
number of men under the leadership of Rufus Burrows, of 
Newville. The pursuing party followed the Indians for a day 
and a half, finally overtaking them where they had pitched 
camp to rest, believing themselves safe from pursuit by that 
time. A battle ensued, which lasted an hour and a half before 
the Indians retreated, leaving fifteen of their number dead. The 
pursuers had suffered two casualties during the engagement, 
S. W. Shannon and S. E. Ford both receiving mortal wounds. 

The Legend of ''Bloody Rock" 

There is an interesting legend of how "Bloody Rock" re- 
ceived its name, which no doubt originated in this pursuit of the 
Indians bj^ the settlers ; and although there is nothing in history 
to authenticate it in any way, the story, on accouut of its appeal 
to the imagination, will probabh' continue to live, though the 
true facts of the case are forgotten. "Bloody Rock" is a preci- 
pice on the west bank of Eel River, near the western boundary 
of Glenn County. The slope of the mountain from the north is 
quite gradual, as of a low hill whose brow is comparatively 
level. Then, without warning, there is a sheer drop to the river 
bed three hundred feet below, as though the other half of the 
mountain had been sliced off with a great knife in prehistoric 
times. In early days, so the story runs, on account of some 
unusually daring crime, the settlers started out in pursuit of 
the Indians. Closing in on them from all sides, they drove 
some twenty or thirty Indians up this gradual ascent, until they 
were brought to bay at the brink of the cliff. Here they were 
given their choice by the settlers of being shot or going over 
the precipice. After a little parley among themselves, the chief, 
with a war-whoop, leaped over the edge, and was instantly fol- 
lowed by the rest of his party. As a result of this action, this 
spot has from that day to this borne the gruesome appellation 
of "Bloody Rock." 

Attack at the Rancliey'ia on the Millsaps Place 
There was a little trouble later in 1862, with some local In- 
dians on the rancheria on the Millsaps place on Stony Creek. 
The Indians had plundered Mr. Wilson's home during his ab- 
sence; and when, on his return, he went to the rancheria to 
demand the return of his property, both squaws and bucks 
attacked him with stones and arrows. He was rescued bj' Mr. 
Millsaps, who heard the noise of the affray. Next morning, the 
settlers again arose in their wrath. Four of the Indians were 


killed during the fight that followed; and a day or so later, 
"Pete," who had wounded Mr. Wilson, was caught near the 
reservation and hanged hy friendly Indians. 

Such summary punishment had a very salutary effect upon 
the Indians, instilling in them a wholesome respect for the lives 
and property of the white men. The settlers suffered no more 
from raids; and save for isolated cases where some buck grew 
quarrelsome and courageous under the influence of liquor, they 
had very little further trouble. 

Results of Their Contact with Ciiulization 

The Indians' primitive mode of living had ill fitted them to 
resist the encroachments of a more virile race, and it was inevi- 
table that the coming of the hardy pioneers should mark the 
beginning of their decline. At the close of the Mexican "War, 
the United States government had not deemed it necessary to 
recognize the possessory rights of the peaceful California Indians 
to their hunting grounds, and took no more account of their 
tenancy than of the herds of wild game which pastured the 
land. It is not surprising, therefore, with the example set by 
the government before them, that many of the more aggressive 
pioneers regarded the Indian as having few rights which a white 
man was bound to respect, and that these same pioneers settled 
without a qualm of conscience on land which the Indians had 
occupied for centuries. 

Clinging to their tribal relationships and primitive manner 
of living, the Indians gradually receded before the advance of 
the settlers, seeking shelter and freedom in the valleys and can- 
yons in the hills. In the later fifties, when the stockmen began 
to settle in the hills, the Indians were a source of great annoyance 
to them; and the government then set apart a reservation for 
the Indians and persuaded many of them to move on to it. Those 
who remained in the county, when they worked at all, served 
as laborers for the early settlers; and where they were treated 
kindly, they often manifested a great deal of loyalty to their 

One of the laws passed by the first legislature of the state 
decreed that the Indians should clothe themselves, and that their 
labor should belong to any one who furnished them with cloth- 
ing, until all arrears were paid. While this law accomplished 
its purpose in making the Indians conform to the standards of 
civilization by wearing what the law required, it frequently 
placed them in an economic condition little better than invol- 
untary servitude. Born hedonists, the Indians spent the greater 
part of what they earned for beads and feathers, for personal 


adornment, or for "fire water" for inner refreshment; and 
tliis improvidence on their part rendered them easy subjects 
for exploitation by the unscrupulous. 

From their contact with the whites, the Indians contracted 
the habit of intemperance. This, with its resultant vices, together 
with their inability to adapt themselves to changed economic con- 
ditions, spelled their doom. Of the many thousands who roamed 
the hills and plains upon the advent of the white men, there 
remain but a handful — some fifty or sixty, in a small rancheria 
upon Grindstone Creek. Too lazy and improvident to thrive, 
and too peaceful to struggle, the Indians as a race have passed 
away from the county, without enriching the civilization which 
succeeded them by so much as the legacy of a single picturesque 
legend, song or story. 


The Missions. California Wins Her Independence 
The Missions 

The Spanish Californians, with the lack of ambition and 
enterprise born of a contented mind, never seemed to realize the 
vast possibilities of the great interior valley of Northern C^ali- 
fornia; and it is doubtful if any Missions would ever have been 
established north of San Francisco Bay, had it not been for the 
activity of the Russians at Fort Ross, on the northern coast, 
which aroused the jealousy of Spain. The fear that the Russian 
colonists might further extend their occupation of the territory 
was largely responsible for the founding of the Mission at San 
Rafael, and of the one at Sonoma also. These Missions were 
regarded by Spain as having a strategic and military significance, 
as well as a religious purpose. 

The Russians, however, were never very prosperous ; and in 
1839 they gave up their colony, and sold all their personal prop- 
erty, consisting of live stock, ordnance, and a vessel of twenty- 
five tons, to General John A. Sutter, who had just been granted an 
immense tract of land at the juncture of the Sacramento and 
American Rivers. 

Sutter's Hospitality 

General Sutter was a kind and generous-hearted man; and 
his open-handed hospitality soon made his colony a Mecca for all 
immigrants coming across the plains from the United States. 
Each year they came in increasing numbers, and each year more 


and more of them settled in the Sacramento Valley, under Sut- 
ter's protection, until in 1846 the settlements extended from 
Sutter's Fort northward to Peter Lassen's farm, at the head of 
Deer Creek, in the northeastern part of what is now Tehama 

The native Californians viewed with increasing suspicion and 
alarm the growing power of the settlers from the United States. 
During the early forties there were vague, uneasy rumors afloat 
that the Californians were planning an uprising to drive out the 
land-grasping Gringos, as the Americans were called. In 1846, 
Captain John C. Fremont, who was sent out by the United States 
Government to explore the most direct routes to the Coast, and 
to do topographical work in California, made a surveying trip up 
the Sacramento Valley with sixty men and two hundred horses. 
Near the boundary line between Oregon and California, he was 
overtaken by Lieut. Archibald Gillespie, the bearer of secret 
despatches from Washington. What instructions these despatches 
contained has never been made public; but upon their receipt 
Fremont immediately turned back southward into the valley, 
and established camp near the Marys%dlle Buttes. This unex- 
pected move on the part of Fremont excited wide-spread curiosity 
among the northern settlers, and convinced many of them that the 
rumors of an uprising against them were true. They flocked to 
Fremont's camp; but what they learned there appears to have 
been a bit conflicting and confusing, as very few had the same 
understanding of the situation. Some were told that the Cali- 
fornians were about to attack them ; others, that it was necessary 
for them to make the first move. 

The Capture of Aire's Horses 

In speaking of Fremont's part in instigating the Bear Flag 
Eevolt, John Bidwell says : 

"It so happened that Castro had sent Lieutenant Arce to the 
north side of San Francisco Bay to collect scattered government 
horses. Arce had secured about a hundred and fifty, and was 
taking them to the south side of the Bay, via Sutter's Fort, 
and to the San Joaquin Valley. . . . Fremont, hearing that the 
horses were i^assing, sent a party . . . and captured them. This, 
of course, was done before he had orders or any positive news 
that war was declared. . . . Thus, without giving the least 
notice to Sutter, the great friend of Americans, or to Ameri- 
cans in general, scattered and exposed as they were all over 
California, he precipitated the war." 

. After the capture of Arce's horses, Merritt and his band 
proceeded to Sonoma, where they surrounded the home of Gen- 


eral Vallejo and declared the inmates prisoners. Vallejo was 
taken completely by surprise, and so offered no resistance. But 
when his wife asked to whom they were to surrender, the attack- 
ing party were thrown into confusion. No one seemed to have 
definite orders from Fremont, and each hesitated about taking 
upon himself the responsibility of interfering with the liberty of 
such an important personage as General Vallejo. Many were 
for giving up the enterprise entirely; but William B. Ide took 
command of the situation, declaring "that they must either be 
conquerors or they were robbers." 

The Bear Flag Revolt 

Sonoma was captured, and General Vallejo was taken first 
to Fremont's camp and then to Sutter's Fort for detention. Ide, 
with twenty-four of the men, remained at Sonoma and organ- 
ized the Eepublie of California. The men were divided into three 
companies, under the leadership of Henry L. Ford, Granville P. 
Swift, and Samuel J. Hensley; and the Bear Flag was designed 
and adopted as their emblem. 

The importance of the part played by men of this vicinity in 
the Bear Flag Revolution will be readily seen when one remembers 
that three of the four officers of the Bear Flag Party were William 
B. Ide, Henry L. Ford, and Granville P. Swift, each of whom was 
elected an officer of Colusa County upon its formation in 1851. 

After assuming leadership of the men at Sonoma, Ide drafted 
a proclamation of the Republic of California, which he had scat- 
tered broadcast. Jn this proclamation he stated that it was his 
object "to establish and perpetuate a just, liberal, and honorable 
government, which shoulcl secure to all civil and religious liberty ; 
insure security of life and property ; detect and punish crime and 
injustice ; encourage virtue, industry and literature ; foster agricul- 
ture and manufactures; and guarantee freedom to commerce." 

The Battle of Olampali 

There was only one clash between the Californians and the 
Bear Flag men, known as the Battle of Olampali. Two men of 
the Bear Flag Party had been sent as messengers to the Coast 
with letters from Fremont, and had been captured by the Cali- 
fornians. Ford attempted to rescue them, and charged a ranch 
house where he thought they were confined. On arriving at the 
corral, however, the Americans were surprised to see fifty or 
sixty armed men near the house. They had accidentally stumbled 
on to one of General Castro's divisions, under the command of 
Joaquin de la Torre. Ford ordered the Bears to dismount, take 
refuge behind what shelter they could find, and await the attack 


by de la Torre's men. The Calif ornians charged; but at the first 
volley of the Bears, one of their men was killed and another was 
seriously wounded. The rest retreated, keeping up a haphazard 
firing at long range for some time, without damaging any of the 
Bear Flag men. De la Torre retreated southward; and Ford, 
content with capturing some of his horses, made no attempt to 
follow him. 

After a brief duration of twenty-six daj's, the Republic of 
California ended with the substitution of the Stars and Stripes 
for the Bear Flag at Sonoma, July 9, 1846. Historians differ in 
their opinions as to the advantage to the United States of the 
Bear Flag Revolution. Some of them claim that the leaders had 
no knowledge of the proximitj' of war between the LTnited States 
and Mexico, and that in view of this fact a revolution on their 
part was ill-timed, as it might have led to English intervention, 
and thus have ultimately lost California to the Union. What 
would have happened had events been different, is, however, 
largely a matter of conjecture. Since the war did follow so closely, 
the work of conquest by United States forces was greatly sim- 
plified by the fact that the American settlers already controlled all 
of Northern California. The majority of the men in the Bear 
Flag Revolution were not mere adventurers in search of excite- 
ment, but men of property interests at that time, who were sin- 
cere in their belief that such a course was necessary to their own 
safety and that of other Americans in California. Nearly all of 
them joined the California Battalion, which was organized by 
Fremont at Sonoma on July 5, 1846, and which, by arriving at a 
critical time to join the forces of Stockton in the south, really 
brought the conquest to a successful end. 

Granville P. Swift, and Others of the Bear Flag Party 

After the war, the men of the Battalion dispersed and many 
of them returned north. Bryant, Ford, Ide and Swift settled in 
the northern part of what was later Colusa County, where for the 
next few years Swift was one of the most picturesque figures in 
the early history of the county. A tall, handsome native of the 
blue grass region, he inherited a goodly measure of the fighting 
blood of old Kentucky; and he was a leader in every controversy 
of any importance between the Americans and the Californians 
subsequent to his arrival with the Kelsey party from Oregon in 
1843. In 1845, Swift served under Sutter in his cam]iaign for 
Micheltorena against Alvarado. In 1846, he was one of the lead- 
ing spirits of the Bear Flag Revolt, which has just been epito- 
mized ; and later in the same year he was Captain of Company C of 
the California Battalion under Fremont. 


At the close of hostilities in 1847, Granville P. Swift settled 
on Stony Creek, in Colusa County. During the nest two years 
he made frequent trips to the mines on the Feather River, where 
he amassed a fortune by working the Indians, whom he ruled with 
an iron hand. Absolutely fearless, a crack shot, and a bitter 
hater of Mexicans, Swift supplies the peaceful annals of our agri- 
cultural community with a dash of the romance and adventure of 

"The days of old, 
The days of gold. 
The days of forty-nine." 

The following is a reminiscence of a deceased pioneer who was an 
eye-witness to the incident described. 

In the palmy days of Monroeville, in the early fifties, the 
principal building was an old wooden hotel with the usual barroom 
attachments. Whenever a mail stage was expected, the men of 
the community congregated here to await its arrival. On one such 
occasion Swift was standing watching a game of cards, when a 
shadow fell across the doorway of the barroom. Instinctively 
he turned and, catching sight of the newcomers as he did so, shot 
from the hip with the deadly skill for which he was noted. The 
man was a Mexican vaquero who had had trouble with Swift, and 
had made threats to kill him on sight. The Mexican, with uner- 
ring accuracy, had thrown a knife with a weighted and balanced 
point; and, but for the slight movement of Swift's body when he 
turned, it would have pierced his heart. As it was, the knife 
barely grazed his clothing and buried itself to half the length of 
its blade in the wall behind him. The men rolled the dead Mexican 
out of the doorway, and left the corpse waiting until the cool of 
the evening for burial; and the card game was resumed until the 
mail arrived. 

After his mining operations. Swift next turned his attention 
to stock-raising, using the Indians for vaqueros. In 1849 he pur- 
chased the cattle and brand of J. S. Williams, who was leaving the 
Larkin Eancho ; and for the next five years his vast herds grazed 
the plains for miles. Once a year they were rodeoed at three 
different points: at the old adobe on Stony Creek, north of Or- 
land; at the adobe on the Murdock ranch, west of Willows; and 
at the Stone Corral, west of Maxwell. Legends still exist in the 
county of money buried by Swift at these places. There were no 
banks in those days ; and Swift, in common with many other men, 
had a habit of burying money on his home rancho, where several 
deposits were found by accident after he had forgotten them. 
In 1854 he moved to Sonoma County, and later to Solano, where 
he was accidentally killed in a mine in 1875. 


The two other officers of the Bear Flag Revolt, AVilliam B. 
Ide and Henry L. Ford, had ranches in the northern part of the 
county, which was cut off and joined to Tehama County in 1855. 


Organization of State and County 

After the War with Mexico, the people of California hoijed 
that Congress would provide them with, an organized government, 
and that military rule would be at an end; but owing to the 
slavery agitation at that time, and the fear of upsetting the bal- 
ance of power in the Senate, Congress adjourned twice without 
taking cognizance of California's needs. In the meantime, the 
discovery of gold and the great inrush of miners in 1849 made 
some form of organized government imperative. After the 
second adjournment of Congress, General Bennett Riley, Military 
Governor of California, took matters into his own hands and 
called a convention to meet in Monterey on September 3, 1849, 
for the purpose of forming a state constitution. 

Immediately after the adjournment of this convention, printed 
copies of the proposed constitution were spread broadcast over 
the state, and candidates for the offices created by it inaugu- 
rated an active campaign and made stump speeches in favor of its 
adoption and in support of their own candidacy. The election 
was held on November 13, 1849. The constitution was ratified 
almost unanimously, and Peter H. Burnett was chosen as Gov- 
ernor. In December the Governor proclaimed the constitution to 
be "ordained and established as the constitution of the State of 
California." The newly elected senators and assemblymen met 
in San Jose, tlie_ new capital, on December 15, 1849. Thus, the 
state government was organized and in active operation almost 
nine months before California was admitted to the Union as a 
state, on September 9, 1850. 

Among the acts of this first legislature, which met before Cali- 
fornia's admission to the Union, was one outlining the boundaries 
of various counties. Colusa was one of these first counties formed, 
and its boundaries were defined by the legislature as follows : 
"Beginning at a point on the summit of the Coast Range moun- 
tains due west from the Red Bluffs, and running thence due 
east to the said bluif s on the Sacramento River, thence down tbe 
middle of said river to the northwest corner of Sutter County, 
thence due west along the northern border of Yolo County to the 
summit of the Coast Range, thence in a northwesterly direction 


following the summit of said range to the point of beginning." 
The district thus defined was attached to Butte County for 
judicial purposes. 

Location of the County Seat at Monroeville 

No sooner had this been done than a lively controversy over 
the location of the county seat began. In all the expanse of terri- 
tory embraced by the proclamation there were about one hundred 
fifteen electors, and these were almost evenly divided between the 
adherents of Monroeville and those of Colusa — each place at that 
time a thriving village of one house. In 1850 the first legislature 
of the state passed an act providing for the organization of a 
county by the district judge upon petition of the electors of the 
county. JJ. P. Monroe, after whom Monroeville was named, was 
quick to take advantage of this act. But instead of applying to 
the district judge, he presented a petition to Judge Moses Bean, 
superior judge of Butte County, praying for the organization of 
"Colusi" County. Although he really had no authority to do so, 
Judge Bean issued a proclamation calling for an election to be 
held at Monroeville on January 10, 1851, for the organization of 
the county and the election of the county officers. 

Earhi Ejections 

Of the men selected for officers at this election, only J. S. 
Holland, superior judge, and U. P. Monroe, county clerk, qualified 
and gave the requisite bonds; so that it was necessary to hold 
another election almost immediately. This was done on February 
25, 1851, at which time W. G. Chard was chosen for assessor, 
Joseph C. Huls for surveyor, and John F. Willis for sheriff. The 
court of sessions, whose duties corresponded to those of the board 
of supervisors, was organized with Newell Hall and William B. 
Ide as associate justices; and by it the county was divided into 
precincts, townships, road districts, etc., and the tax rate for the 
county was placed at twenty-five cents on the hundred dollars, 
of valuation, the highest rate allowed by law at that time. 

On April 12, 1851, Judge Holland, who had been ill for some 
time. died. On May 3, another election was held to choose his 
successor, in which John T. Hughes received the majority of votes. 
Shortly afterwai'ds, however, Hughes left the county; so that 
within eight months after the organization of the county a fourth 
election was held, on September 3, 1851. This was the first 
election of which there are any official records extant. The re- 
turns were as follows: For assemblyman: C. D. Semple, 23; 
H. L. Ford, 47; Newell Hall, 23; and's. Gwynn, 5. For county 
judge: William B. Ide, 40; L. H. Sanborn, 35. For county clerk: 


E. D. Wheatly, 74; James Yates, 11. For treasurer: G. P. Swift, 
3; Ben KuigM, 82. For sheriff: J. F. Willis, 84. For assessor: 
W. G. Chard, 21 ; W. H. Sheppard, 57. 

The letters of William B.- Ide, former leader of the Bear 
Flag Eevolt, furnish the main source of information concerning 
the life and history of this period. 

Transient Nature of the Population 

The excitement of gold-mining on the Feather Eiver was then 
at its height, and a considerable number of the men in the 
county were transient residents, going and coming back and forth 
from the mines as the excitement fluctuated. Ide appears to 
have had a very strong sense of civic responsibility, and endeav- 
ored to maintain a county government, in working order, by 
filling the various offices himself when other men deserted their 
posts or refused to qualify In reading of his conscientious at- 
tempts along this line, one is forcibly reminded of the predica- 
ment of the sole survivor of the Nancy Belle, when he says, in 
that bit of nonsense verse : 

"O, I'm the crew and the captain bold. 
And the mate of the Nancy brig. 
And the bosun tight and the midship mite. 
And the crew of the captain's gig'." 

The following extract from one of Ide's letters to his brother 
may serve to heighten the picture of his manifold titles and 
duties : 

"Monroeville, Colusi County, Cal., November 9, 1851. 
"Dear Brother: 

"I am seated in the office of Coiinty Clerk of Colusi County, 
where I am at present, by virtue of the elective franchise, having 
been- made Judge of the County Court, civil and criminal, presi- 
dent of the Commissioners' Court, or the Coui't of Sessions of 
said county, and Judge of Probate; and, by appointment duly 
recorded, I am made the County Clerk, Clerk of the District 
Court (Ninth District), and of the Court of Sessions, Clerk of the 
Probate Court, County Eecorder and County Auditor. These 
several offices, at present, limit my official duties; but I suppose 
I shall, just to accommodate our floating population, be com- 
]3elled to serve as Treasurer, Deputy Sheriff, Dej^uty County 
Surveyor, and very probably as Coroner and Justice of the 
Peace, and very probably as Deputy Notary Public. 

"This account may excite some surprise, but I will explain: 
nine tenths of our population are here today, and tomorrow are 
somewhere else. Our population is like birds of passage, except 


that their migrations are not exactly periodical. All the circum- 
stances which combine to make it difficult to obtain responsible 
and permanent county officers combine to make these officers 
necessary. At present ten individuals pay more than three fourths 
of the taxes paid in the county, and comprise nearly all of its per- 
manent residents. These men as a general thing reside on their 
ranchos, to attend to their private atfairs, and are the only resi- 
dents of the county who are able to give the requisite bonds. At 
the polls the non-residents, wlien they imite, have the elections as 
they please; and the result is that transient, irresponsible per- 
sons are elected and bonds of a like character are tiled. Last 
year the sovereign people elected as County Judge (who is the 
acceptor or rejector of all official bonds) a dissipated lawyer, 
who of course accepted such bonds as came to hand; and the 
administration of public affairs, financially, went on swimmingly 
for a few months — all the offices were prompth' tilled, bonds filed, 
and gin, wine and brandy bottles and glasses occupied the places 
of stationery. The records of the courts became unintelligible to 
sober people. Not a court of any kind, except Justice of the 
Peace Courts, was held within the county (except the Court of 
Sessions, and that was uniformly conducted by the Senior Jus- 
tice, while the presiding judge was otherwise employed). 

"The property holders, as we are called here, refused to pay 
their taxes on the ground of the insufficiency of official bonds. 

. . . Judge resigned, and the election resulted in the 

choice of one of the property owners, your brother. And a further 
result was that legal bonds are required, which transient persons 
cannot procure." 

According to Green's History of Colusa County, J. C. Huls, 
one of Ide's fellow officers during his term as judge, is authority 
for the following anecdote, which illustrates the versatilitj' of 
Ide in discharging the duties of several offices simultaneously. 

When Ide was justice of the peace in Red Blutf, previous 
to his election to the superior judgeship of Colusa County, a man 
appeared before him charged with horse-stealing. After a short 
preliminary hearing, Ide bound the man over to appear before the 
Superior Court; but before the date set for the trial Ide had 
been elected superior judge of Colusa County. When the isrisoner 
was arraigned, I-de informed the accused of his right to coimsel, 
and as there was no attorney nearer than eighty miles, volunteered 
to act in that capacity himself. This combination of presiding 
judge and counsel pleased the prisoner immensely, and he agreed 
to the proposition, especially as there was no district attorney to 
prosecute him. But Ide, it seems, in order that the sovereign 
people of the County of Colusa might be represented, felt called 


ui^on to act iu that capacity also. So the trial proceeded on that 
basis. As the attorney for the people Ide submitted his case, 
taking exceptions to the evidence in behalf of the defendant, and 
then, resuming- his judgeship, decided the rulings. At the close of 
the trial the jury were out an hour, when they returned a verdict 
of guilty. Ide, as judge, then addressed the prisoner at the bar 
in part as follows: "After a fair and impartial trial by a jury 
of your peers, you have been found guilty of horse-stealing, for 
which the penalty is death. I sentence you to- be hanged by the 
neck until dead, dead, dead; and may God have mercy on your 
soul." The prisoner was taken to Hamilton, Butte County, for 
safe-keeping, there to await the day of execution. On the ap- 
pointed date, Ide sent the sheriff after the condemned man; but 
that worthy officer found only an empty cell. The Governor of 
the state had pardoned the man without even notifying the 
Colusa County officers. 

TranspoitatloH in flir Eaiiij Days 

With the great influx of gold-seekers to the mines, transpor- 
tation of supplies for them became more lucrative in many in- 
stances than mining, itself. The following extract from the auto- 
biography of Eufus Burrows, one of the pioneer settlers in the 
county, may be of interest, as it gives his experience in this line 
of business as a boy while living in the vicinity of Sacramento 
City. "While in this place, I made a trip with seven others for 
Tanner and Fowler, all having ox teams with the exception of 
Tanner, who was with us; and he had horses. Loaded with 
freight, it took seventeen days to make a fifty-mile trip. Tanner 
and Fowler got a dollar and a half per pound for hauling this 
freight. On this trip we were mirecl down a good part of the 
time, for the roads were awfully muddy. . . . 

"My stepfather bought an ox team from an emigrant and 
gave it to me. The best day's work I ever did in my life was with 
this team. I hauled one load of flour to Mormon Island, on the 
river just aliove Folsom, then a mining town. When I reached 
Mormon Island the man paid me in gold dust. It was a little red 
toy barrel level full. I had three yoke of oxen on this trip. W^hen 
I started home I kept thinking about Indians, as two white men 
had recently been killed by them. I was only a boy, and as dark- 
ness came on I was afraid to camp on the road, so kept on going 
until I got home, arriving there at midnight. . . . 

"I afterwards took the gold dust I received for this trip 
with me to New York, and had it coined. They gave me one 
hundred fortv four dollars for it." 


Early Grain-growers 

The trausportation of supplies over rough, muddy roads, or 
in many places over no roads at all, necessitated many head of 
stock ; and the price of hay and barley soon soared to such allur- 
ing figures that some of the early settlers in the county began to 
experiment in the raising of grain. In 1851 Isaac Sparks, R. B. 
Ord, George L. Pratt, AVatkins, Bounds, Nelson & McClanahan, 
E. J. Walsh, Monroe & Williamson, Martin Reager, A. S. C. Cleek, 
William Swift, and Granville P. Swift had each sown considerable 
acreage to barley; and several of the above-mentioned men had 
also tried smaller patches of wheat, thus starting an industry 
which in the course of a few years supplanted all others and 
became the main source of wealth in the county. 

Valuation and Population in 1852 

In 1852 the assessed valuation of the county was $547,837. It 
may be interesting to note, in the light of present-day valuations, 
the inverse ratio at that time of real estate to personal property. 
The three largest grants, the Larkin's Children's, Jimeno, and 
Ide's rancho, comprising 82,670 acres of finest river land, were 
assessed at $1.25 per acre ; hay, at $15 per ton ; wild cattle, at $12 
per head; wheat at $2 per bushel; and sheep, at $8 per head. 
The number of poll taxes paid in 1852 was four hundred seventy- 
six; but the next year there was a very marked decline in the 
population, and only one hundred forty-three receipts were listed. 

First Legal Execution, and First County Jail 

The first legal execution in Colusa County occurred in the 
spring of 1852. Nathaniel Bowman was convicted of murder in 
the first degree for killing Levi Seigler by beating him over the 
head with a bottle. There was no jail then, and during the trial 
Bowman was placed under guard at Monroeville. ' After his con- 
viction he nearly made good his escape. In some manner he 
eluded the vigilance of his guard and, still shackled, hobbled to 
the home of Jesse Sheppard, where he begged piteously to have 
his irons filed off. Sheppard, however, took him back and turned 
him over to the authorities at Monroeville, where he was executed 
soon afterwards. 

This episode clearly showed the necessity of having some safe 
place of detention for prisoners. With his characteristic resource- 
fulness in emergencies, William B. Ide met this situation also. 
He obtained some bar iron and bolts from San Francisco and 
fashioned a cage. This he placed in the shade of a great oak 
in front of the hotel in Monroeville, which did duty at that time 


as the county courthouse also. This simple expedient solved the 
problem until the seat of government was transferred to Colusa 
in 1854, whereupon Ide's cage was removed also, to continue duty 
as a cell in the county jail in Colusa. 

While performing his official duties at Monroeville, William 
B. Ide contracted the smallpox, which terminated fatally on De- 
cember 20, 1852. By his death the county was deprived of her 
most public-spirited citizen, whose influence in behalf of law and 
order could ill be spared in such a turbulent period. 

Removal of the County Seat to Colusa 

The adherents of the town of Colusa as the location of the 
county seat drew first blood in the contest in 1851, when Charles 
Semple had the County Proclamation amended by the legislature 
by the insertion of the words ' ' and the seat of justice shall be the 
town of Colusa." Nothing daunted, however, the Monroevilleites 
proceeded with the work of staking out lots and planning the future 
of their town. Monroe presented to the county judge a petition 
sig-ned by ninety-five people asking that an election be held to 
determine the location of the county seat. The election was held, 
and Superior Judge Hughes signed an official document declaring 
Monroe's ranch the county seat, as it had received a majority of 
the votes cast. The Colusa faction then brought the matter up 
again at the next general election in 1853, when the vote was 
overwhelmingly in favor of Colusa. Monroeville was by that 
time so far outnmnbered in population by Colusa that it ceased 
to struggle to maintain its hold. Its inhabitants settled in other 
localities, and the site of the town was afterwards merged into 
the farm purchased by Jubal Weston, Jr., in 1868. 

The government of the county was now fully organized with 
proper ofQcers, and the records previously kept at Monroeville 
were transferred to Colusa, where, during the summer of 1854, 
a three-thousand-dollar frame building was erected for a court- 


Origin of Place Names. The Coming of the Stockmen 

Origin of Place Names 

Of all the men who were in the county, and were active in 
its organization and early government prior to 1853, none have 
left any descendants still living in the county except A. S. C. 
Cleek, Mai-tin Reager, and Robert Hambright in the northern part 


of the county, and Elijah McDaniel and Mayberry Davis from the 
Afton district, on the east side of the river. Either the other set- 
tlers left the county, or their children have scattered to other 
parts of the state. The names of many places, valleys and 
streams, however., still attest their primacy. 

Stony and Grindstone Creeks both derived their names from 
the first manufacturing industry in the county. According to 
General John Bidwell, Moon, Merritt, and Peter Lassen made 
grindstones on the Imnks of these creeks in 1845. The men 
freighted their product to the river by pack-horses, loaded the 
grindstones into a canoe, and peddled them at the different 
ranchos along the banks of the river, disposing of all their output 
before they reached Yerba Buena (San Francisco). 

As the very earliest settlements were made along the river, 
most of the places which bear the names of the early pioneers are 
in that locality. Ord, or Ord Bend, was named from R. B. Ord, 
who first settled in that vicinity. Before the organization of the 
state government he was a Mexican alcalde, which corresponds to 
our justice of the peace. Ord left the county later, and finally 
located in Santa Barbara. 

Walsh school district was so called because the site was for- 
merly part of the Walsh Grant, owned by E. J. Walsh. In the 
early fifties, W'alsh was a merchant in Shasta. He shipped his 
supplies from San Francisco to Colusa by boat, from which point 
they were freighted by pack train or ox team to Shasta along the 
old Eed Bluff Road, which followed the river. For convenience 
in his teaming, he established a ranch on the route, where his 
stock might be relayed and so rested between trips. Shortly after 
1851, he gave up the mercantile business and turned his attention 
to the ranch and the raising of stock. Surrounding land and 
claims were bought up, until his holdings comprised twenty' thou- 
sand acres. He devoted his energies to improving the cattle of 
that period, importing some thoroughbred shorthorn Durhams 
from Kentucky for that purpose. Walsh died on April 30, 1866. 
He had no children, and after his wife's death the property re- 
verted to his sister, Mrs. Chambers, and her children. 

St. John takes its name from A. C. St. John, one of the 
early settlers in the county. He purchased a tract of land on 
Stony Creek, near its mouth. After the collapse of Monroe- 
ville's hopes of eminence by the removal of the county seat to 
Colusa, one corner of this tract was set apart for a town site, 
the post office was moved there from Monroeville, and the place 
was named St. John. The first marriage ceremony performed 
in Colusa Coimty was that which united A. C. St. John and Miss 
Julia Griggsby at Princeton, in 1853. Two sons and two daugh- 


ters were the fruit of this union. After several years the family 
removed to San Jose, and the children are now living in San 

Swift's Point, on the Sacramento Eiver near Hamilton City, 
hears the name of Granville P. Swift, already mentioned in a 
previous chapter. At this place the river was fordahle at low 
water; and this crossing was much used in tlie early days in 
travel between Bed Bluff and points on the east side of the 
lower river. 

The Mcintosh, school district, which has recently been estab- 
lished, was named in honor of L. H. Mcintosh, a pioneer of 1852 
and at one time owner of three thousand acres of land extending 
from the river to a point five miles west, including the site of 
the present school district. 

Leaving the river district, and turning to the foothills, the 
second belt of settlement in the county, the following places which 
commemorate the names of pioneers are found. Hambright 
Creek, which joins Stony Creek on the Greenwood place near 
Orland, derives its name from Robert Hambright, a Mexican 
War veteran. At the close of the war he came to California 
and engaged in stock-raising, purchasing land along the creek 
which still bears his name. His daughter Ida married Albert 
Papst, and some of their children are still living in Orland. 
Briscoe Creek, which rises in the Coast Range mountains and 
flows into Stony Creek about half a mile south of the town of Elk 
Creek, commemorates the name of another pioneer. Watt Briscoe 
and Robert Anderson settled in Green Valley and engaged in 
stock-raising in the later fifties. Briscoe had no descendants. 
Clark's Valley, nestled among the hills south and east of the 
town of Fruto, was so named because it was first settled by 
James Clark. His family are all dead, with the exception of 
one granddaughter, who is married and is living in the southern 
part of the state. Rising in the foothills southwest of Orland, 
and flowing into Willow Creek at a point two miles east of the 
town of Willows, is Walker Creek,- named after Jeff Walker, who 
in the early fifties ran thousands of sheep on the low foothills 
and plains northwest of Germantown. Walker had one daughter, 
Moll.y, whose present wliereabouts are unknown. 

On account of the paucity of the county records, little can 
be found as to the doings and places of abode of the numerous 
other pioneers of the northern part of Colusa County prior to 
1854. In this broad open country there was land enough for 
every one. A man's claim was respected by every one whether 
he followed the preemption law or not; and if any one wanted 
the same piece of land more than the original settler, he bought 


up bis claim and took possession with very little formality. Even 
those who had proved up, and had government land patents to 
their lands, were very careless about recording their titles with 
the proper county officials; so that as late as 1868 a large per- 
centage of the landholders in the county were assessed by what 
was known as possessory titles. 

The Com'mg of the Stockmen 

By 1855 many men who had come to California during the 
gold excitement of 1849 and 1850 had been disappointed in the 
mines and turned their attention to agriculture and stock-raising, 
the mild climate and luxuriant wild grasses of the country sup- 
plying almost ideal conditions for the latter industry, which had 
alwaj's formed the main dependence of the S]iauisli Californians. 
Thousands of small wild cattle grazed on their vast ranches, but 
these were slaughtered mainly for their hides. In fact, before 
the discovery of gold, hides often formed the medium of ex- 
change between the Californians and the outside world, as tobacco 
did between the early colonists of Virginia. Several forty-niners, 
who afterward settled in what is now Glenn County, returned 
to Missouri and Kentucky and drove l)ack across the plains 
enough fine stock to form the nucleus of their later herds. Once 
in California with their stock, it was not so much the question 
of pasturage as the finding of living water that decided their 

Nearly all the lands along the Sacramento River were claimed 
either under Spanish grant or by purchase, previous to the year 
1858. The following were some of the residents and landowners 
along the river: Mayberry Davis, who settled near the' present 
location of Afton; Elijah McDaniel, who located at Painters Land- 
ing, on the river; Joseph McVay; Bounds and Picknell; II. C. 
Nelson ; Frank Steele, whose family still own land and reside 
on it at the river opposite Princeton; Levi Jefferson McDaniel, 
whose ranch is now known as Carson Colony No. 1, or Baker 
Colony, subdivided into small farm tracts by Mr. E. E. Baker 
and associates ; J. J. Winkler, a veteran of the Mexican "War ; 
John Price, still owning the land and residing at his original 
location; Isaac Sparks, who located at Jacinto, later the home 
of Dr. Hugh Glenn; Watkins, who settled near Jacinto in 1851; 
George C. Pratt and R. B. Ord, who settled at the location on 
the river known as Ord Bend ; U. P. Monroe, who located at Mon- 
roeville, now the Weston Ranch; Richard Walsh, who lived on 
the Walsh Grant, in the vicinity of St. John; L. H. Mcintosh, 
who owned the Mcintosh Ranch ; and Joseph and Michael Billion, 
who resided near the present site of Hamilton City. Martin A. 


Reager and S. C. Cleek operated a hotel near St. Jolm, on the 
Eed Bhiff road, in 1850. Later they farmed near St. John, and 
then took up their respective farms on Stony Creek, in the 
vicinity of the present city of Orland. James Ewing Mitchell 
located on the river, north of the present site of Hamilton City, 
and engaged in sheep-raising. Jnbal Weston clerked in a hotel 
or road honse at Monroeville, formerly the connty seat of Colusa 
County, in the year 1854. 

The search for water, as well as feed for their stock, led the 
new settlers into the foothills along the creek valleys. Claims were ' 
laid out along the courses of streams, and the range controlled 
by the water was fenced in by brush fences. Most of the foot- 
hill settlers saved their home range for winter pasturage, turning 
their stock out in the spring to roam the plains in common with 
wild game, untended save for the annual rodeo in the fall. The 
crossing of the imported stock, principally of Durham blood, 
with the native cattle gradually improved the standard of all the 
herds in the county. Stock-raising was the only industry of any 
imi)ortance in the county prior to 1870. The early miners 
derisively spoke of Colusa as one of the "cow counties" of the 
state, which cognomen was justly earned, and was turned into 
one of praise by her vast herds of improved stock. 

Thousands of head of sheep were raised annually, but fewer 
individuals were engaged in that branch of the stock industry. 
Some of the most' prominent sheep-raisers were: James Ewing 
Mitchell, Jeff Walker, U. S. Nye, A. S. McWilliams, James Tal- 
bot, Patrick O'Brien, W. W. Marshall, Labau Scearce, William 
Murdock and Milton French. The feeling between the cattle men 
and sheep men, so bitter in many places in the West, never 
attained any degree of rancor in this vicinity. 

Setfleiiieut of the FoothiUs 

The first settlements in the foothills were made during the 
year 1855. A. D. Logan settled on the property which he after- 
wards sold to "Zink" Garnett, and which is now owned by the 
J. S. Garnett Company. Just west of the Garnett Ranch, James 
and Thomas Talbot took up the land which is still known as the 
Talbot Ranch. Oscar Stiles and James and S. D. Young settled 
north of the Garnett Ranch, and were bought out by J. R. Titfee 
in 1858. This ranch was afterwards divided between his two 
daughters, Anna R. Safford and Theodora Tiffee Purkitt; and 
the two places resulting from this division are now the property 
of S. Stormer and W. Stormer respectively. Robert Eggleston 
settled just west of the ranch owned by Tiffee, and sold his ranch 
a few years later to a man by the name of Small, whose daughter 


Mary married Levi "Welch, by whose uame the place was called 
until it came into possession of the Nichols family. Nearly all 
the Small family are buried in a private cemeterj' on the place. 
Abe Musick, Jerry Schooling and Charley Brooks settled on the 
land purchased by U. S. Nye in 1858 and held in the possession 
of his family until 1916, when it was sold to H. M. Garnett. Just 
north of the Nye Ranch, Patrick O'Brien settled, and accpiired a 
holding of twelve thousand acres known as the O'Brien Ranch, 
which is now in the possession of the Turman-Mitchell Company. 
In 1855, Milton French settled on the ranch known as the French 
Ranch, and there engaged in sheep-raising. French gradually 
acquired more and more land, increased his flocks of sheep, and 
later farmed a large acreage to grain, attaining prominence as 
one of the largest ranch owners and most successful stockmen of 
the county. J. C. and S. P. Wilson settled on the ranch known 
as the Marshall Ranch in 1855. Later in the same year, W. W. 
Marshall purchased the interests of the Wilsons and engaged 
in sheep-raising and farming. He was widely known as a suc- 
cessful farmer and owner of blooded stock. One of his race 
horses, Stranger, won three out of five races in the Northern 
Circuit in 1893. Jeff Walker settled on the ranch known as the 
Butte Ranch, southwest of Orlaud, and was one of the largest 
early sheep-raisers in the county. In 1858, H. B. Julian settled 
on the ranch known as the Julian Ranch, on Stony Creek, north- 
west of the present town of Fruto. Here he increased his holdings 
until his ranch included over nine thousand acres, on which he 
raised thousands of head of stock and also farmed a large acreage 
to grain. In 1859, I. W. Brownell purchased an eighty-a-cre farm 
on Stony Creek from the owner, Mr. Sparks. From this small 
beginning Mr. Brownell, by thrift and good management, grad- 
ually acquired the splendid property known as the Brownell 
Ranch. Laban Scearce, a forty-niner, filed on government land on 
Stony Creek, sis miles northwest of Orland, in 1856, and engaged 
in stock-raising. The property, consisting of forty-six hundred 
acres, is now owned by the Scearce Company. Noah Simpson 
settled in African Valley on Stony Creek in 1853, near the 
present site of Simpson Bridge, which spans Stony Creek on the 
New^'ille-Orland road. Mr. Simpson was one of the prominent 
stock-raisers of the county. Robert Hambright, who has been 
previously mentioned, settled on the creek bearing his name, about 
seven miles west of Orland, during the year 1853. 

In the vicinity of the site of the present town of Newville, 
James Flood, J. B. and Joseph James, M. Kendrick, James 
Kilgore, Lysander V. Cushman, Rufus G. Burrows, John Mas- 
terson, B. N. Scribner, James A. Shelton and George W. Millsaps 


settled previous to 1858 and 1859. These men all acquired land 
and became permanent settlers of that community. Their hold- 
ings are today owned by their estates or families. In 1853, Joseph 
Millsaps settled near the present site of the village of Chrome. 
Beginning with a three-hundred-twenty-acre ranch, he prospered 
in the stock-raising industry and finally became the owner of 
over three thousand acres of land. 

Before the year 1858, the following pioneers settled in Stony 
Creek "S^alley, between the location of Elk Creek and vicinity and 
Stonyford : L. L. Felkner, Eobert Anderson, AVatt Briscoe, Wilcox, 
Farrish, Bowman, J. S. B. West, Jack and Dave Lett, W. E. 
Green and sons, W. W. and Alfred. These pioneers engaged in 
stock-raising. Later, through the division of their estates, these 
ranches were separated into smaller farms, now as prosperous as 
the larger ones of the early settlement days on Stony Creek. 

Many of the pioneers of this period from 1854 to 1858 have 
escaped mention in this connection, for only of those who settled 
permanently in the county and possessed themselves of land are 
records obtainable. Many worthy pioneers took up their resi- 
dence in the county during this time; but other parts of the un- 
settled West called them thither. 

The Dy ought of 1864 

After three of four seasons of less than normal rainfall, the 
year 1864 opened with the ground as hard and dry as in August ; 
nor were there any spring rains to alleviate this condition. 
Stock suffered terribly. Whenever it was possible, the stockmen 
had taken their herds out of the county to other pasturage; but 
the drought was a state-wide condition, and relief was many miles 
away. Hundreds of head of cattle died on the way to pasturage in 
the mountains. By fall the conditions were much worse. The 
rains held otf until the last of November, and thousands of head 
of cattle and sheep died of starvation. Many settlers found 
themselves on the verge of bankruptcy by the loss of so great a 
portion of their herds. The year 1864 was a severe setback to 
the stock-raising industry, and many realized for the first time 
that other and diversified industries would be greatly to their 
benefit and a further guarantee of success. It was the setback of 
1864 that first interested the settlers in the possibilities of grain- 
growing in connection with their stock-grazing, and perhaps had 
much to do with the new era to follow in the late sixties and 
earlv seA'enties. 



The Era of the Grain-grower 
First Attempts at Graui-grou-ing 

The early settlers along Stony Creek and near the river, in 
the vicinity of St. John, first planted wheat and barley in the 
year 1851. The more venturesome pioneers who settled on the 
plains for the purpose of growing grain were forced to abandon 
their squatter claims by the excessively dry seasons of 1854-1855, 
1855-1856, and 1856-1857. In addition to severe drought during 
these years, a scourge of grasshoppers visited the plains in 1855 
and completely devastated them of all vegetable life. 

The government offered the lands on the plains for settle- 
ment in 1856, and during the same year confirmed the Mexican 
Grant land titles to those having ownership and possession of 
lands under former grants. Beginning with 1856, the new settler 
was offered every inducement to settle on the fertile jilains of Co- 
lusa County. The previous years of drought, however, served to 
dampen the ardor of the fanner settlers; and stock-raising was 
still considered the only industry worthy of their energies. Be- 
ginning with the year 1868 a new era dawned. The winter of 1868- 
1869 was one blessed with bountiful rainfall. Those hardy settlers 
who had again chanced a grain crop reaped a wonderful harvest 
of wheat and barley. Prices were high, and many settlers 
profited enough from their single crop to repay past losses and 
leave them sufficient funds to plant a much larger acreage the 
following year. In the A^ear 1869 about ten thousand acres of 
virgin lands were broken, and sown to wheat and barley. The 
fame of Colusa County, and particularly that portion of it which 
is now Glenn County, as a county of wonderful crop harvests had 
spread over the entire valley. 

Infnx of Settlers 

The year 1870 brought a great influx of settlers, seeking 
homes and fortunes. During that year many of Glenn County's 
solid citizens took up their homesteads, or purchased the rights 
of others, and engaged in grain-growing on a scale never con- 
templated by the early settlers. The larger number of the new 
settlers of this year came from Solano County, where they had 
had previous experience in grain-farming. The stories of Glenn 
County's bountiful crops attracted them to what they consid- 
ered a district offering superior farming opportunities. 


Mention is here made of a few of the grain farmers who 
settled in Glenn County during the years 1868 to 1873. Dr. Hugh 
J. Glenn settled at Jacinto in 1868, and I. V. Devenpeck settled 
northwest of Willows in the same year. In 1869, Ad. Duncan 
settled northwest of Willows on the property now owned by W. D. 
Killebrew. H. A. Greenwood and Henry W. Steuben settled in 
the vicinity of Orland in 1870. P. B. Lacroix, W. T. Troxel and 
Daniel Zumwalt settled near Willows between 1871 and 1873. 
During the same period, G. D. Mecum, Chris. Jasper and J. A. 
Smith became residents of the Orland district. 

Groivth and Decline of the Industry 

By the season of 1872 the grain-growing industry had grown 
to the almost unbelievable proportions of a million sacks of wheat 
and barley. A close estimate of that year showed that about a 
million bags of grain was grown in Colusa County, a great por- 
tion of which was produced in the territory now making up the 
valley portion of Glenn County. 

During the year 1872 and 1873 a few farmers abandoned 
grain-growing for sheep-raising. Wool sold for fifty cents per 
pound in 1872 ; and this was the cause of their changing back to 

The years 1873 and 1874 were prosperous ones for the grain 
farmers. Dr. H. J. Glenn harvested a crop from thirty thousand 
acres, which yielded an average of twenty-five bushels of wheat 
per acre. Large grain warehouses were constructed at Jacinto 
and Princeton. The grain industry had come to stay, and shelter 
for grain awaiting shii^ment was found necessary. During the 
next three years large crops were grown. More land was sown 
each year, adding greater wealth to the county, and enhancing 
the prosperity of its settlers and home-builders. The crop of 
1878, however, suffered greatly from rust everywhere in the state ; 
and this resulted in no small loss to the farmer. 

About this time another pest caused considerable loss to the 
farmer. The wild geese and ducks became so plentiful that one 
large grain-grower of that period, Levi Moulton, placed armed 
guards, afterwards known as "goose herders," around his fields 
of grain. During the first season his goose herders destroyed 
over seven thousand wild geese. The following year the farmers 
were compelled to resort to the poisoning of their fields, in order 
more quickly to destroy the wild geese and ducks that were at- 
tracted to the valley during the winter and early spring, and 
which would often in a single night devastate a field of forty 
acres of grain. 


The year 1880 stands out in the history of the county as 
the banner crop year of the grain-growing industry. A larger 
acreage was planted than theretofore, yields were far greater, 
prices were above the average, and grain-growing became the 
remunerative occupation of almost every one. Dr. Hugh Glenn 
produced from his vast acreage, known as the Glenn Grant, 
almost a million bags of wheat. Some other large growers of that 
year were : Mr. George Hoag, William Murdock, Pierre Barcelous, 
P. B. Lacroix, Charles Merrill, I. V. Devenpeck, Ad. Duncan, 
Laban Scearce, H. B. Julian, Patrick O'Brien, Joseph Billion and 
C. S. Chambers. 

- The years 1881-1882 and 1882-1883 were average crop years. 
The winter of 1884-1885 promised an exceedingly dry season, and 
crops were supposed to have been lost through lack of rain; but 
during the month of January, 1885, a four-and-one-half-inch rain 
brought profit out of loss. Later rains followed, March being a 
month of floods, and the harvest season returned a crop of over 
eight million bushels of grain, an exceedingly large crop. The fol- 
lowing year promised well for a bumper grain crop ; but on June 
11, 1886, the most severe "norther" experienced in the county 
caused a million bushels' loss of grain. Many fields were flattened, 
and those which remained standing suffered greatly by being 

The year 1887 was chiefly distinguished as the year of the 
advent of the combined harvester. Formerly all the grain had 
been harvested by headers and threshers. The combined har- 
vester, which cut the grain and threshed and sacked it with the 
same operation, meant a considerable saving in the expense of 
harvesting. The harvester revolutionized grain-farming in the 

Previous to 1889, all grain-farming operations in the valley 
had been carried on by horse and mule power; but in the sum- 
mer of that year George Mudd, who was farming near German- 
town, purchased and operated the first steam tractor in the 
county. The Mudd tractor was used to operate a harvester, and 
from that day the horse and mule began their decline in the 
harvest field and in other farming operations in the county. 

The constant farming of the lands of the plains for a period 
of twenty-five years resulted in the inevitable exhaustion of the 
soil's resources. The grain-grower was very improvident of the 
soil's fertility, taking everything from the land and giving noth- 
ing in return. During the early nineties, crop yields were light. 
Many extensive grain-growers failed; and others turned large 
portions of their acreage to pasture and engaged in stock-raising, 
farming only so much land as was necessary to produce feed for 


their stock. Under the summer-fallowing system, however, Grleun 
County still produced fair and average crop yields. Grain-grow- 
ing still maintained its place among the productiA^e industries of 
the county, though the extensive grain ranches of the seventies 
and eighties were abandoned. Farming was carried on by farm- 
ers operating small acreages. Grain-growing in the county grad- 
ually became closely identified with stock-raising ; and the farmer 
of today depends also upon his herds of cattle, sheep, hogs, horses, 
and mules for the guarantee of his livelihood. 

Grain-groiving on, the Grant 

The history of grain-growing in the county cannot be written 
without directly mentioning in some detail the extensive farming 
operations of Dr. Hugh J. Glenn, for whom Glenn County was 
named, and who was at one time the largest grain farmer of the 
United States, if not of the entire world. 

Dr. Glenn came to California in 1849. After engaging in 
mining, freighting and the livery business at Sacramento, he 
returned to Missouri. In 1853, he again came to California and 
engaged in the cattle business, with S. E. Wilson and Major 
Briggs, of Yolo County, as partners. His first place of residence 
in what is now Glenn County was at the mouth of Stony Creek, on 
the Sacramento River. In 1856, he disposed of his California in- 
terests and again returned to Missouri. The call of California, 
however, could not be resisted; and during 1859 and the years 
following he made several trips from Missouri and New Orleans 
to California, with, droves of cattle, horses and mules. In 1865 
he attempted farming in Yolo County, with Major Briggs as a 

In 1867, attracted to the place of his first residence in what is 
now Glenn County, because of the opportunities that district 
offered for grain-farming. Dr. Glenn purchased a ranch at the 
present site of Jacinto. This first ranch consisted of seven 
thousand acres and was purchased for one dollar sixty cents per 
acre. The following year, 1868, Jacinto became the residence of 
the Glenn family. 

After 1868, Dr. Glenn added to his holdings until, in 1874, 
forty-one thousand acres was under plow, and a crop of wheat 
with an average yield of twenty-five bushels per acre was har- 
vested from thirty thousand acres. From the year 1874 to the 
year of his death Dr. Glenn was known as the "AVheat King" of 
the world. His ranch comprised about fifty-five thousand acres, 
all tillable land, of which aliout forty-five thousand acres was 
farmed to wheat and barley. 


In order to give an idea of the extensive operations carried 
on by Dr. Glenn during these years, the following facts are pre- 
sented. The pay roll for labor performed during the harvest 
season averaged about thirty thousand dollars per month. Over 
one hundred eight-mule teams were employed in putting in the 
crop; and when the plowing season commenced, the plow teams 
made one round only of their fields during their day's work. The 
teams were accompanied by a cook house for the men, and a 
feed and water wagon for the stock. This bare statement of the 
method of operation will perhaps give the reader the best idea 
of the extensive farming operations on the great ranch. In 1880, 
a crop of almost a million bags of grain was grown upon this 
ranch. Over twenty-seven thousand tons of wheat was exported 
to England by Dr. Glenn under his own charter, for which he 
received eight hundred thousand dollars. For convenience in 
farming, the ranch was divided into seven fields, the largest of 
which contained twelve thousand acres. The total fencing sur- 
rounding these fields amounted to more than one hundred fifty 
miles. At the height of the harvest season as many as six hundred 
men were employed on the ranch. At Jacinto a small town 
thrived. Jacinto had a hotel (still standing), saloon, blacksmith 
shop, machine shops, store (still standing), post office, and ware- 
house. During- the early years of his operation of the big ranch, 
Dr. Glenn recognized tlie value of surface drains to care for tlie 
surplus flood waters of the winter. Drains constructed at that 
time by his orders are still in use, and serve their original pur- 
pose. Water for stock on the plains liack from the river was 
secured by scooping out large barrow pits, down to the depth of 
surface water. These water holes can still be seen along the 
Willows and Jacinto roads. 

In February, 1883, Dr. Glenn was shot by his secretary, 
Hurum Miller. For a time after his death the farm was operated 
by the administrators ; but poor crop years and low prices finally 
resulted in tlie sixbdivision of the great ranch, which was section- 
ized and offered to the public at very low prices. With the com- 
ing of irrigation and subdivision, a new era of settlement by the 
small farmer and the home-seeker commenced. The Sacramento 
Valley Irrigation Com^jany purchased tlie remaining holdings of 
the estate in 1909, for the purpose of placing it under irrigation 
and selling it, in forty-acre units, to the small farmer for inten- 
sive cultivation. The fifty-five-thousand-acre wheat ranch of the 
eighties is now the residence of many small farmers, who irrigate 
their lands and intensively farm their small home plots. 

The beautiful Glenn home site at Jacinto is owned and occu- 
pied by Mrs. Ella Glenn Leonard, the only daughter of Dr. Glenn. 


To the north, and adjoining the Jacinto place, Charles H. Glenn 
owns about seven hundred acres, where he has erected a spacious 
dwelling for his permanent home. 

"Glennair," the home of Frank Buckner Glenn, is the site 
of the old "Home Eanch," one of the subdivision ranches made 
under the direction of Dr. Glenn for convenience in farming. 
The grounds are beautifully parked, having been laid out by the 
famous landscape gardener, McLaren, of Golden Gate Park. The 
farm of several hundred acres is modern in every respect. 


County Division, and Oeganization of the New County 

In 1850, when the State Legislature created Colusa County by 
establishing its boundaries, little thought was given to the amount 
of territory embraced. The location of Colusa, the county seat, 
in the extreme southern part of the county, distant about fifty 
miles from its northern boundary, was the cause of much incon- 
venience and expense to the citizens in the northern portion of 
the county. The immediate vicinity of the town of Colusa had 
been receiving the lion's share of the attention of the officers 
of the county, without due regard to the interests of the residents 
of the north. A just proportion of the revenues of the county, 
secured by taxes upon lands and i^ersonal property, had not been 
equitably expended in the interests of that portion of the county 
from which the revenue was derived. Colusa, because of its 
larger population and its control of the offices of the county since 
its organization, had formed a ring popularly termed the ' ' Court- 
house Eing." These grievances and errors of county manage- 
ment caused many of the thinking residents of the northern por- 
tion of the county to cast about for a possible solution of the 
difficulties they had experienced in their attempts to force proper 
respect for the interests of their district. Roads had been neg- 
lected, bridges were needed, and the tax rate was increasing each 
year without benefits in return for the added costs. Mui-murings 
and mutterings had been heard for several years; and in 1880 
the editor of the Orland Times, Frank Freeman, then a hard- 
ware merchant of that thriving city, openly espoused the cause 
of dividing the county and creating a new commonwealth in 
their own separate interests. 

The first plan for county division, as proposed by the sup- 
porters of the idea, specified as the territory of the new county 


the northern part of Colusa County, beginning at the present south- 
ern boundary of Glenn County, and that part of Tehama County 
south of Thorns Creek, including the town of Scatterville — that is, 
the present city of Corning — with Orland as the geographical 
center of the new county and consequently the location of the 
county seat. Some of the bolder champions of a new county ral- 
lied to the support of Editor Freeman, but the older heads dis- 
couraged action at that time and counseled delay. 

The movement for creating a new county was again agitated 
in 1882; and this was the real beginning of the struggle which 
culminated four years later in the introduction of a bill, in the 
Legislative Assembly of 1887, proposing the division of Colusa 
County and the creation of a new county to be called "Glenn," 
and to embrace that portion of the County of Colusa north of the 
township line between townships seventeen and eighteen. The 
supporters of county division ' were in large majority in 1887. 
Their action in introducing the bill was taken with as little pub- 
licity as possible. A petition asking the Legislature to create the 
new County of Glenn was circulated among the resident tax- 
. payers of the proposed new county, and was signed by over eight 
hundred petitioners. 

The Colusa County political ring could ill afford to stand the 
loss of the tax money of the northern district. The bill was bit- 
terly opposed by them in the Legislature, and failed of passage 
in the State Senate by a vote of twenty-one to twenty upon recon- 
sideration, after having passed the Assembly by a constitutional 

After the Legislature adjourned, the time was well employed 
by the people of the northern district in marshaling their strength 
for the next struggle, in the legislative session of 1888-1889. 
During that session the Divisionists and Anti-divisionists arrayed 
all the strength they could muster. Large delegations of citizens 
— men, women and children — visited the Legislature in session, 
lobbying for the passage of the bill creating the new County of 
Glenn. Money was used freely by professional lobbyists on both 
sides. Finally the Assembly and Senate, by the necessary con- 
stitutional majority, passed the act creating the new county. The 
signature of Governor Waterman was needed to the act to divide 
the old and create the new county. The Governor failed to sign 
the act. Thus, the Divisionists were defeated, and all the work 
and energy expended by them had been lost. By his failure to 
sign the act creating the new county, the Governor decreed that 
the proponents of division must come again before the Legisla- 
ture for the relief thev sought. This they did at its next session, 
in 1890-1891. 


In 1890-1891, the third bill was introduced in the Legislature, 
2jroviding for the creation of Glenn County by a majority con- 
current vote of the resident electors of the territory to be em- 
braced within the boundaries of the new county. This bill, after 
a fight more bitter than those of the preceding sessions, passed 
both houses of the Legislature by a substantial majority and was 
immediately signed by Governor Markham. 

In accordance with the provisions of the act, the Governor 
api^ointed five commissioners to determine all matters not pro- 
vided for in the act creating the new county, and to call an elec- 
tion of the electors residing therein for the purpose of determin- 
ing by majority vote whether the county created by an act of 
Legislature should be duly organized. The following were the 
commissioners appointed by the Governor: George H. Purkitt, 
chairman of the commission; J. N. Davis, of Afton; M. B. Scrib- 
ner, of Orland ; J. R. Troxel and Milton French, of AYillows. 

On May 5, 1891, a bitterly contested election was held. On 
May 11, the commissioners met and canvassed the election, and 
determined for all time the question of the creation of the County 
of Glenn by declaring the act ratified by a majority vote of the 
electors of the new county, and the following officers elected: 
Judge of the Superior Court, Seth Millington; Sheriff, P. H. 
Clark; Clerk, Wm. H. Sale; Assessor, Lawrence E. Stewart; Dis- 
trict Attorney, Ben. F. Geis; Coroner, Dr. A. H. Martin; Public 
Administrator, James O. Johnson ; County Surveyor, H. A. Hicks ; 
Tax Collector, E. C. Kirkpatrick; County Treasurer, James M. 
Millsaps ; Auditor, A. W. Sehorn ; Recorder, M. B. Sanders ; 
Superintendent of Schools, W. M. Finch; Supervisor of District 
No. 1, H. C. Hulett, Chairman ; Supervisor of District No. 2, J. F. 
Pieper; Supervisor of District No. 3, N. B. Vanderford; Super- 
visor of District No. 4, William M. Johnson ; Supervisor of Dis- 
trict No. 5, Philander Stone. 

The Anti-divisionists, or Colusa County faction, after the 
election of May 5, 1891, shot their last bolt in their fight against 
county division by bringing a suit in the Superior Court of Sacra- 
mento County, praying for an order of court against the division 
of the county upon the grounds of illegal voting, colonization of 
voters, stuffing of ballot boxes, and the making of fraudulent re- 
turns of election by election officers; and attacked the constitu- 
tionality of the act of Legislature creating the new count}", and 
the legality of all proceedings held thereunder. This action was 
decided in favor of division; and on appeal made to the Supreme 
Court, the decision of the lower court was sustained. Suits were 
also instituted at Marysville, charging many individual electors 


with illegal voting, stuffing of the ballot boxes, and fraudulent 
actions of election officers. After considerable annoyance and 
trouble to the persons charged in these spite suits, all action was 
dropped and the question was closed permanently. 

From the year 1882, when the Orland Times advocated for 
the first time the division of Colusa County, until the fifth day of 
May, 1891, the cause of division was ably supported by its orig- 
inator, Frank Freeman. In 1887, Mr. Freeman moved his print- 
ing press to Willows, consolidated his paper with the Willows 
Journal, and founded the first daily paper of Colusa County, 
styled the "Willows Daily Journal." In the legislative battle of 
1890-1891, Mr. Freeman was actively in charge of the interests of 
the Divisionists. For a period of eleven years he had consistently 
fought for the assertion of the rights of the people of the northern 
district of Colusa County. 

The Honorable K. E. KeUcij 

Mention has been made of the first demands of the Division- 
ists of 1886. The general who planned the moves and strategy 
of the long fight for county division was a former editor and 
publisher of the Willows Journal, an ex-State Senator and an 
attorney of ability, the Honorable K. E. Kelley. 

The Honorable K. E. Kelley represented the Counties of 
Yolo and Solano as State Senator in the twenty-fifth Legislative 
Assembly, during the regular and special sessions of 1882. In 
1885 Mr. Kelley came to Willows and purchased the Willows 
Journal, which he edited and published, in connection with his 
cousin, W. H. Kelley, for two years. Afterward he entered the 
practice of law and became closely identified with the social and 
political life of the county. His energy, shrewdness, persistence, 
and knowledge of men and their motives, placed him in the front 
as a leader of the forlorn hopes of the county Divisionists. In 
all the later struggles for the division of Colusa County and the 
formation of Glenn County, Mr. Kelley was acknowledged by the 
opponents of that measure to be a most skilful, adroit and for- 
midable adversary. To the Honorable K. PI Kelley, more than 
to any other man, can be attributed the final success of the move- 
ment for the formation of the count}'. 

Later Mr. Kelley became interested in the development and 
settlement of the county. Kelley 's Addition and Kelley 's Ex- 
tension to the town of Willows recall his interest in the up-build- 
ing of that city. The Kelley Grade Road from Fruto to Ander- 
son A'alley, in which was located his former home, named by him 
"The Retreat," was constructed at his suggestion and request. 



The Years Immediately Following County Division 

Factious Created hy County Division 

One of the most unfortunate results of the long struggle for 
county division was the internal strife and dissension created 
within the confines of the new county. The inhabitants of the 
extreme northern portion of the county, although the first to 
broach county di^dsion, were not in favor of it as enacted by the 
Divisionists centered around Willows. They were in favor of 
a plan whereby Orland would become the county seat; and one 
of the most prominent residents of that vicinity brought suit to 
test the validity of the act creating the new county. The suit 
dragged through the courts until 1894, when the Supreme Court 
handed down a decision in favor of Glenn County. Upon the 
receipt of this decision, I. V. Devenpeck, A. A. Nordyke, S. P. 
Sherfey, T. H. Newsom and A. W. Sehorn were released from a 
bond which they had signed guaranteeing the expense of this 
suit, and were also tendered a vote of thanks by the board 
of supervisors for such a substantial evidence of their confidence 
in and fealty to Glenn County in its hour of need. 

The Panic of 1893 

The period immediately following the formation of the county 
was one of national financial depression known as the Panic of 
1893. Although crop conditions were about normal, Glenn County 
suffered acutely during this period of stringency, because the 
prices of her principal staples, wheat and wool, touched bottom 
at this time. The Willows Daily Journal of that year contains 
the following illuminating item : " U. 'S. Nye, a prominent sheep 
man of the county, is busily engaged in two occupations these 
days, superintending the shearing of his sheep and figuring out 
whether the clip will pay the cost of the shearing and the sacks." 
The low prices of staple commodities made it impossible for the 
farmers to pay interest on borrowed capital. Bankg were forced 
to call the loans of many of the larger farmers, who were unable 
to raise the money; and foreclosures were common. More peti- 
tions in bankruptcy were filed in 1893 and 1891 than in any other 
two years of the county's history. Work on the irrigation project 
was stopped by litigation during this period also ; and the pros- 
perity so hopefully prophesied by the proponents of the new 
county was several years late in arriving. 


The transaction of the county business in Willows, and the 
building of much-needed roads and Ijridges, alleviated conditions 
a little by keeping in circulation the money collected as taxes. 

Construction of County Roads, Bridges and Buildings 

The first year after the organization of the county, the tax- 
payers of the county began to realize what advantages a new 
county held for them in the way of improved roads and bridges. 
The policy of the first board of supervisors and its chairman, 
Mr. H. C. Hulett, was to build the best possible public roads and 
bridges consistent with good business management. This policy 
has been consistently followed by successive boards of super- 
visors, xmtil today Glenn Countj' is known throughout the state 
for its good roads and its fine bridges. The county has erected 
a steel bridge across the Sacramento Eiver at Butte City; and 
at Hamilton City an electrically oijerated span steel bridge 
costing three hundred thousand dollars was constructed in 1909, 
by. direct taxation, at the joint expense of Butte and Glenn 
Counties. Steel bridges have been erected at Elk Creek, Wins- 
low, Grindstone Creek, on Kelley Road across Stony Creek, 
at Rockville across Stony Creek, at the Simpson Ranch across 
Stony Creek, and at St. John. Since the fall of 1912 the 
county has adopted the policy of replacing all wooden bridges 
and culverts with concrete structures or corrugated iron pipes, 
thus doing away with the heavy annual maintenance costs. 
Hundreds of miles of new roads have been constructed to ac- 
commodate the new settlement on recently subdivided lands in 
the Orland and Central Canal Irrigation Projects. In the year 
1910 the people of the county voted bonds in the aggregate amount 
of four hundred thousand dollars for roads and bridges. This 
expenditure of bond money was necessarj- to raise the standard 
of Glenn County's roads and bridges to the ever increasing 
demands of the taxpayers and the traveling public. 

The people had faith in the future of the community and 
expressed it even in the midst of hard times by voting bonds 
for the erection of county buildings. The first officials of the 
County of Glenn had temporary offices in Odd Fellows Hall and 
some of the buildings further north on Tehama Street; but in 
1893 the grand jury recommended the erection of suitable quar- 
ters for the county officials. Accordingly, bonds to the amount 
of eighty thousand dollars were voted for that purpose, and 
carried at a ratio of six to one. The next matter of absorbing- 
interest was the selection of a proper site. Every one with prop- 
erty to develop tried to secure the location of the county build- 
ings on, or near, his interests. The present site was chosen from 


seventeen competitive bids, and was purchased from Dr. J. A. 
Eandolph for five thousand dollars. A contract for seventy-nine 
thousand dollars for the construction of the courthouse and jail, 
in accordance with the plans and specifications of John H. Cur- 
tiss, was let to H. H. Burrell, of the California Bridge Company. 
Work was commenced immediately, and the corner stone was 
laid with great ceremony on February 17, 1894. 

Laying of the Corner Stone of the Courthouse 

The ceremonies began with a long parade from Tehama 
Street to the site of the courthouse on Sycamore. Dr. L. P. 
Tooley was grand marshal of the day. The parade formed on 
Tehama Street in the following order: Silvey's Cornet Band, 
followed by Company G, National Guard of California. The Mon- 
roe Lodge of Odd Fellows formed the next unit; and then came 
the Laurel Lodge of Masons, followed by citizens in carriages 
and on foot. The parade marched to the courthouse, where a 
temporary platform had been erected. Here H. C. Hulett, chair- 
man of the board of supervisors, requested the Masonic Order 
to proceed with the laying of the corner stone according to their 
ritual. Deputy Grand Marshal J. B. Stevens, of Napa, i)ro- 
ceeded with the ceremony. In the corner stone a copper box 
was deposited which contained the following articles : A silver 
dollar coined in 1882 (the year in which agitation for county 
division was started) ; a list of the officers of Laurel Lodge, 
F. & A. M., and also one of Monroe Lodge, I. 0. O. F. ; a copy 
of the proceedings of the laying of the corner stone of the 
Masonic Temple, San Francisco; a copy each of the Willows 
Review, Orland News, Willows Daily Journal, Willows Weekly 
Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner, 
of the date of February 17, 1894; a bill head from Freeman's 
Hardware Store; an aluminum Midwinter Fair souvenir key, 
Mrs. J. H. Hoever; a silver pencil, J. H. Mitchell; a letter head 
of Hochheimer & Company, with the autographs of Moses and 
Amiel Hochheimer; and a souvenir World's Fair goblet, B. H. 
Mooney. Judge Millington was the orator of the day, and made 
a very impressive speech. The day's programme closed with a 
dance at the Armory, under the auspices of Company G; and a 
big banquet at the Crawford House, at which A. C. Burrell, the 
courthouse contractor, acted as toastmaster. 

Organization and Service of Company G 

During 1893, Comiiany G of the California National Guards 
was organized in Willows with the following members : William 
H. Sale, Duncan P. McCallum, L. J. Stearn, George Q. Hoag, 


G. W. Kopf, George Niswonger, L. E. Wickes, Benjamin C. 
Eatliff, Arthur Wade, Eugene Duncan, Leland Johnson, Henry 
Keeran, Frank Williams, William Niswonger, William Killebrew, 
Herbert McCartney, Alston Ayer, Michael Kahn, Edgar 0. 
Bailey, John H. Graves, J. O. Longmire, William Shearer, 
Maurice Shea, Thomas Ajax, T. S. Daugherty, D. C. Andrews, 
Cyrus McMath, Bert McMath, W. W. Woolf, Harry C. Compton, 
Louis M. Reager, Tracy Crawford, William "\". Freeman, Frank 
Bondurant, M. H. Lathrop, M. J. Keys, Charles F. Clark, A. E. 
Eichler, F. L. Roberts, G. S. White, Max Gutfield, Ammon Daugh- 
erty, S. A. Gibson, Frank Zumwalt, Simon Mclntyre, C. F. Parker, 
Jesse W. Patton, Kirby Mclntyre, John J. West, Henry K. 
McMath, Robert Wilson, Edgar Hunter, William M. Finch, Alfonso 
J. Burgi, Marion W. Pratt, Warren Sutherland, Clarence R. 
Wickes, Charles E. Studebaker, Amiel Peters, Henry Walker, 
John F. Sersanous, Marion Pirkey, J. H. Ball, Charles McCanley, 
Gilbert Whiting. The officers chosen were: Captain, Dr. M. 
Pirkev; First Lieutenant, Prof. M. W. Pratt; Second Lieutenant. 
H. W. Walker. 

In the act of the Legislature authorizing the raising of ten 
companies (of which Company G was one), monetary provision 
was only made for tive ; and therefore the companies were forced 
to do with half the usual amount of funds. This condition was 
partially remedied by Company G by holding a three days' mili- 
tary fair as a benefit for the company; and they were very gen- 
erously supported in their endeavor by the jieople of the com- 

During the strike in 1894, Company 6 was called to Sacra- 
mento, and formed part of the Eighth Regiment stationed there 
on guard duty. The boys were away five weeks. On their return 
they were treated to a rousing demonstration, nearly all the pop- 
ulation of the town being at the depot to welcome them and wit- 
ness their march to the Armory, where they were dismissed by 
Captain Pirkey in a very appropriate speech, commending them 
for their courage and the excellent discipline maintained by them 
while at their post of duty. The Sacramento Bee of that date 
very highly praised the men of the Eighth Regiment, to which 
Company G belonged, for their valor and honorable conduct while 
in Sacramento. 

Agricultural AssocUitio}i and the Races 

Soon after the formation of the county, the Legislature made 
appropriations for district agricultural associations to be formed 
throughout the state for the purpose of fostering an interest in 
the breeding of fine stock. Such an association was immediately 


formed by the progressive men of Glenn County, and received 
supi3ort from the state to the extent of three thousand dollars. 
The first fair of the Glenn District Agricultural Association was 
held in Agricultural Park (now Pittsburg Addition to the town 
of Willows) in August, 1893. Much fine stock was exhibited and 
twelve hundred dollars was distributed in premiums. There were 
also good exhibits of agricultural and horticultural products in 
the pavilion, as well as displays by the leading merchants and 
business men of the county; but the chief interest of the fair 
centered in the races. Several other counties had formed asso- • 
ciations also; and by holding the fairs at different dates a rac- 
ing circuit was formed in Northern California comprising the 
towns of Chico, Marysville, Red Blutf, Woodland, Willows and 
others. The stores and nearly all the attractions of the fair 
closed in the afternoons, so that everj^ one might see the races; 
and whenever the local favorite was pitted against a winner from 
some other county the interest was intense. Some of the most 
prominent owners and breeders of racing stock in and around 
Willows at that time were: W. W. Marshall, Col. F. G. Craw- 
ford, Dr. J. A. Eandolph, J. E. Troxel, and Charles and Will 
Merrill. These fairs were annual events until 1897, when Gov- 
ernor Budd vetoed the approj^riation and state support was with- 
drawn. That year the Pacific Coast Trotting Horse Breeders' 
Association stepped into the breach ; and upon each district asso- 
ciation guaranteeing a purse of one thousand dollars, five days' 
racing was held in each town in the circuit. The old local pride 
and zest had departed, however, and so far as Glenn County 
was concerned, racing soon became a sport of the past. For 
many years Col. F. G. Crawford maintained his stables, in the 
hope of better times in the racing world; but upon his death 
the horses were all sold. In 1910 the Sacramento "^'alley Irriga- 
tion Company bought Agricultural Park, tore down the old build- 
ings, and subdivided the race track into town lots. 

Famous Trials 

The years following the Panic of 1893 were years of retro- 
gression rather than of progress. Low prices and the shortage 
of money caused a decline of all values in the county, but par- 
ticularly of land values. The assessment roll decreased from 
$12,135,640 in 1893 to $8,768,060 in 1897. Toward the latter 
part of the decade, signs of returning prosperity began to mul- 
tiply; and the next few years thereafter witnessed the inception 
of many new enterprises. In the interim, however, the chief 
interest of the people centered in the management of the new 
county; and there were two very important trials in this connec- 


tion. The first was the outcome of an action on the part of 
Sheriff Clark, in wliich he exceeded his authority as sheriff ])y 
taking possession of some property of Mr. Horan without first 
qualifying as receiver. Mr. Horan immediately brought suit 
against Sheriff Clark, and obtained judgment. At tlie next 
meeting of the board of supervisors, there were seventeen appli- 
cants for the office of sheriff; and from this number the board 
appointed George Baker to the position. Clark protested that 
no vacancy existed, and tried to maintain his hold on the posi- 
tion. Finally, as a result of the action Thruston vs. Clark, 
charging the sheriff with the collection of illegal fees, Judge 
Millington of the Superior Court handed down a decision declar- 
ing the office of sheriff vacant ; and Baker finished out the term. 
He was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by H. G. 

The second trial arising from a controversy over county 
management was the trial of H. C. Hulett, chairman of the board 
of supervisors, for alleged extravagance and mismanagement of 
the county funds in the matter of letting bridge contracts. The 
grand jury brought five indictments -against Mr. Hulett on the 
evidence of Johnson and Wilson; but by the time the case came 
to trial Johnson had left the country and could not be located, 
and the evidence given by Eobert Wilson was entirely circum- 
stantial and failed to connect Hulett definitely with any of the 
alleged transactions. At the close of the trial the jury was out 
four hours, and stood nine to three in favor of acquittal, when 
the judge dismissed, them. This hasty action on his part neces- 
sitated a second trial, at great expense to the county. In the 
end Hulett was acquitted. 

There was another case tried in the Superior Court during 
this period, which, although of a purely civil nature, was of even 
greater interest to the people of the county generally, on account 
of the array of legal talent on each side, the expert testimony 
given, and the prominence of the parties to the suit. This was 
the famous "Murdock Note Case." William Murdock was one 
of the early pioneers -of the county, and had amassed a fortune. 
Murdock had never married; and upon his demise he bequeathed 
an estate valued at a cpiarter of a million dollars to his brothers 
and sisters and their children. Shortly after his death, there 
began to be rumors afloat of a hundred-thousand-dollar note 
against the estate. When at last the note was presented, the 
executors refused to allow it, and suit was instituted by the 
owners, to force payment. The note was for one hundred thou- 
sand dollars, bearing interest at one per cent, a month, and 
purported to have been given to Mary Helen Murdock (Mrs. 


Gawn Murdoek), of Olympo, seventeen years before. At tlie time 
of its presentation the note and accrued interest amounted to 
$303,566.60, enougli to wipe out the interest of the other heirs 
in the estate, if allowed. Suit was filed for the owners of the 
note by Campbell, Metzon & Reddy, of San Francisco, but was 
prosecuted in court by Frank Freeman and Grove L. Johnson. 
F. C. Lusk, of Chico, attorney for the estate, was assisted in 
the defense by Richard Bayne and Gen. W. H. L. Barnes, of 
San Francisco. Theodore Kytka, the famous handwriting ex- 
pert, was called upon to- testify to the authenticity of the signa- 
ture, which the defense claimed to be a forgery. The trial con- 
tinued for forty days; and the most intense interest was mani- 
fested by the people of the community, the court room being 
packed each day. The result was a hung jury, and the matter 
was finally compromised out of court. By the compromise the 
owners of the note received fifty thousand dollars, and the balance 
of the estate was divided among the heirs mentioned in the will. 

New Enterprises 

In 1897 an agitation for creameries swept over the valley, 
and many were established in neighboring counties. On April 12, 
1897, a creamery association was formed in Glenn County, with 
A. Hochheimer, chairman; W. H. Sale, secretary; and C. E. 
Keeran, P. R. Garnett, A. D. Duncan, Henry Bielar and A. 
Carttenberg, directors. Stock was subscribed; and B. F. Sweet, 
the promoter of the enterprise, was given a contract to erect 
a building and install the necessary equipment. After tentatively 
selecting two or three different sites, the association finally 
located their building just east of the railroad track on Wood 
Street. An incident which happened in connection with the ac- 
ceptance of this building from the contractor seemed a forebod- 
ing of the fate of the new enterprise. Each of the parties to be 
present at the final test evidently depended on someone else to 
supply the necessary milk; and when the time came to try out 
the machinery, there was no milk provided and the test had 
to be made with water. It soon became evident that this inci- 
dent was typical of conditions in the county. They had the build- 
ing and equipment, but no milk ; that is, in commercial quantities. 
It did not pay to milk cows on dry feed during the summer, and 
the enterprise flagged. The backers of the creamery were just 
ten years ahead of their time. They had the vision of the pos- 
sibilities of the county in the way of development, but they were 
not successful in imparting that confidence and enthusiasm to 
the average farmer. Dr. F. X. Tremblay and his associates tried 
to revive interest in the creamery situation again in 1903; but it 


was not till after the completion of the river branch canal and 
the subdivision of large holdings into intensive farms, in 1907, 
that dairying became a firmly established industry in the county. 

In 1903 great excitement spread over the county over the 
prospect of striking oil. Many who claimed to be experts in 
detecting oil-bearing strata examined the territory lying in the 
foothill belt and gave out the most encouraging reports. Several 
companies were formed, and selling shares of oil stock became 
one of the most lucrative occupations of the time. Stockholders 
had visions of "gushers," and imagined themselves rolling in 
opulence in consequence. Three companies actually started wells, 
but two became discouraged before going very deep. The AVash- 
ington-California Oil Company, whose well was located on the 
Nye Eanch, actually struck several small veins of oil — just 
enough to keep them hoping — but after drilling over three thou- 
sand feet without striking anything more satisfying than brack- 
ish water with a slight oily scum on top, the well was finally 

The county as a municipal corporation has from its very 
beginning been ably managed in the interests of its taxpayers. 
For reference, there is appended here a list of the county officers 
and state legislative representatives of this district, from the date 
of the formation of the county to the year 1917. 

List of County Officers 


State Senator, J. H. Seawell; Assemblyman, AV. A. Vanu; 
Superior Judge, Seth Millington; Sheriff, P. H. Clark; County 
Clerk, W. H. Sale; County Auditor and Recorder, John H. 
Graves; Treasurer, James M. Millsaps; Assessor, L. E. Stewart; 
District Attorney, George Dudley; Count}^ Surveyor, T. L. 
Knock; Coroner and Public Administrator, Dr. F. X. Tremblay; 
Superintendent of Schools, William M. Finch ; Supervisors : First 
District, H. C. Hulett; Second District, David Markham; Third 
District, N. B. Vanderford ; Fourth District, P. R. Garnett ; Fifth 
District, W. Frank Miller. 


Assemblyman, William Ash; Superior Judge, Frank Moody; 
Sheriff, H. C. Stanton; County Clerk, W. H. Sale; Recorder and 
Auditor, John Graves; Treasurer, J. F. Sersanous; Assessor, P. 
0. Eibe; District Attorney, George Dudley; Coroner and Public 
Administrator, J. 0. Johnson; County Surveyor, T. L. Knock; 
Superintendent of Schools, William M. Finch; Supervisors: Sec- 
ond District, Vincent Cleek; Fourth District, H. A. Logan. 



Assemblyman, A. E. Bridgeford; Supervisors, First District, 
James Boyd; Third District, Asa M. Jackson; Fifth District, W. 
Frank Miller. 


State Senator, John Boggs (died in office, 1899; succeeded by 
J. W. Goad); Assemblyman, J. P. Glynn; Superior Judge, Oval 
Pirkey; Sheriff, H. G. Stanton; County Clerk, W. H. Sale; Aud- 
itor and Eecorder, John H. Graves ; District Attorney, R. A. 
Long ; Assessor, P. 0. Elbe ; Treasurer, John F. Sersanous ; Super- 
intendent of Schools, Frank S. Eeager; Coroner and Public 
Administrator, John Franey; County Surveyor, J. F. Weston; 
Supervisors: Second District, V. C. Cleek; Fourth District, P. 
R. Garnett; Fifth District, J. W. Albery. 


Assemblyman, T. J. Sheridan; Supervisors: First District, 
George C. Prentiss; Third District, Asa M. Jackson; Fifth Dis- 
trict, W. H. Hodgson. 


State Senator, J. B. Sanford; Assemblyman, Benjamin H. 
Howard; Sheriff and Tax Collector, J. A. Bailey; County Clerk, 
W. H. Sale; Auditor and Recorder, John H. Graves; District 
Attorney, R. L. Chfton; Assessor, W. H. Markham; Treasurer, 
L. J. Klemmer ; Superintendent of Schools, F. S. Reager ; Coroner 
and Public Administrator, L. R. Stewart ; County Surveyor, T. L. 
Knock; Supervisors: Second District, David Brown; Fourth Dis- 
trict, J. R. Troxel. 


AssembhTnan, Ernest Weyand; Superior Judge, William M. 
Finch; Supervisors: First District, George C. Prentiss; Fourth 
District, for the unexpired term of J. R. Troxel, deceased, Seth W. 
Stanton; Third District, Asa M. Jackson; Fifth District, J. W. 


State Senator, J. B. Sanford; Assemblyman, F. H. Smyth; 
Sheriff and Tax Collector, J. A. Bailey; County Clerk, William 
H. Sale; Auditor and Recorder, M. Golden; District Attorney, C. 
F. Purkitt; Assessor, W. H. Markham; Treasurer, L. J. Klem- 
mer; Superintendent of Schools, S. M. Chaney; Coroner and 
Public Administrator, Jos. M. Reidy; County Surveyor, Thomas 
L. Knock; Supervisors: Second District, David Brown; Fourth 
District, Seth W. Stanton. 



Assemblyman, J. B. Mendenhall ; Supervisors : First District, 
P. 0. Eibe; Third District, Frank C. Hurlburt; Fifth District, 
H. D. Wvlie. 


State Senator, J. B. Sanford; Assemblyman, J. B. Menden- 
hall ; Superior Judge, William M. Finch ; Sheriff and Tax Collec- 
tor, J. A. Bailey; County Clerk, W. H. Sale; District Attorney, 
Claude F. Purkitt; Auditor and Recorder, M. Golden; Treasurer, 
J. W. Monroe; Assessor, W. H. Markham; Superintendent of 
Schools, S. M. Chaney; Coroner and Public Administrator, Jos. 
M. Reidy; County Surveyor, Luther C. Stiles; Supervisors: Sec- 
ond District, W. L. Thompson; Fourth District, S. W. Stanton. 


Assembh-man, Harry Polslev; Supervisors: First District, 
P. 0. Eibe; Third District, J. S. Sale; Fifth District, H. D. Wylie. 


State Senator, Claude F. Purkitt; Assemblyman, Elmer Sis- 
son; Sheriff, J. A. Bailey; County Clerk, W. H. Sale; District 
Attorney, Benjamin F. Geis; Auditor and Recorder, M. Golden; 
Treasurer, J. W. Monroe; Assessor, E. C. Harelson; Tax Collec- 
tor, Mrs. Mae Blondin; Coroner and Public Administrator, D. C. 
Tucker; County Surveyor, Bayard Knock; Superintendent of 
Schools, S. M. Chaney; Supervisors: Second District, David 
Brown; Fourth District, Leon Speier. 


Assemblyman, Harry Polsley; Superior Judge, William M. 
Finch; Supervisors: First District, P. O. Eibe (deceased; suc- 
ceeded by Charles Lambert, appointed by Governor Stephens) ; 
Third District, J. S. Sale; Fifth District, H. D. Wylie. 


The Era or Ieeigation 

The need of irrigation of the lands of Glenn County was 
recognized by the progressive men of the years 1875 and 1876. 
In May, 1875, an irrigation meeting was held in Colusa, the county 
seat of Colusa County, which at that time embraced the area 
which is now Glenn County. Will S. Green, Honorable John 


Boggs, Colouel Hagar, J. B. DeJarnatt, L. F. Moulton and others 
discussed the possibilities of irrigation, and were agreed as to tlie 
many advantages ottered in the iise of water by that method. 
Immediately following that meeting, many private water rights 
were filed and located. 

Early Irrigation 

John Boggs, Greorge Packer, and others, constructed a ditch 
from the river, at a point near Princeton, from which they irri- 
gated their lands at time of high water. On Stony Creek, near 
Smithville (now Stonyford), John L. Smith several years before 
constructed a ditch for operating his fiour mill, and also for 
irrigating his fields of alfalfa. Later, a company styled the 
Stony Creek Improvement Company constructed a ditch higher 
up Big Stony Creek, and irrigated a much larger area of land 
for alfalfa. On the north side of Stony Creek the landowners 
of that locality constructed a ditch for the irrigation of their 
orchards and fields of alfalfa. During this same period a China- 
man constructed a ditch from Stony Creek, a short distance below 
the two ditches mentioned, and irrigated his garden and orchard. 

Following the early construction of irrigation works near 
the town site of Stonyford, other ditches were taken out along 
the entire course of Stony Creek. In the vicinity of Elk Creek, 
numerous i^rivate irrigation systems were constructed. The 
Fruto Land and Improvement Company constructed a six-mile 
ditch on the east side of Stony Creek, three miles south of Elk 
Creek, for the irrigation of several hundred acres of vineyard, 
orchard and alfalfa. 

Irrigation District Projects 

The years 1887 and 1888 were years of irrigation develop- 
ment in Glenn County. The first irrigation district under the 
Wright Law in Glenn Coimty was formed on September 10, 1887, 
and was known as the Orland Irrigation District. The area of 
the district formed was about fourteen thousand acres, lying in 
what was then Colusa and Tehama Counties, and north of Stony 
Creek. Opposition soon arose, forcing the abandonment of this 
plan; and on August 20, 1888, the Kraft Irrigation District was 
formed, cutting from the boundaries of the first district the lands 
of those opposed to the plan, and including two thousand acres 
belonging to the Krafts, which they wished to develop by means 
of irrigation. 

In 1888 the Stony Creek Irrigation Company was incorpo- 
rated, with C. B. Ashurst, of Bed Bluff, G. W. Murdock, F. C. 


Graves, and T. J. Kirkpatrick as stockholders. A ditch taking 
water from Stony Creek about nine miles northwest of Orland, 
and running in a southeasterly direction for a distance of eight 
miles, was constructed for the irrigation of the lands adjacent 
to the canal. 

On January 14, 1888, the Orland Southside Irrigation Dis- 
trict was formed. This district, as formed, comprised an area 
of approximately twenty-six thousand acres and included the 
town of Orland. This district proceeded with its organization, 
voted one hundred thousand dollars' worth of bonds for construc- 
tion purposes, and then failed to carry their plans to completion 
because of the opposition of certain landowners and the faulty 
provisions of the Wright Law. 

Will S. Green, and the Central Irrigation District 

Will S. Green, the chairman of the tirst irrigation meet- 
ing held in Colusa, in May, 1875, is known to this generation as 
the father of irrigation in Glenn and Colusa Counties. In the 
brain of that progressive man was first originated the plan of 
diverting the waters of the Sacramento Eiver through a great 
canal, for the irrigation of the lands on the west side of the 
river in Glenn and Colusa Counties. From the time of the first 
irrigation meeting, until November 22, 1887, Mr. Green constantly 
bent his entire energies to the formation and completion of the 
plan of watering the lands now embraced in what is generally 
known as the Central Irrigation District. On November 22, 1887, 
the dreams and plans of Mr. Green were fulfilled. On that date 
the Central Irrigation District was formed by a vote of the 
electors of the proposed district, in accordance with the Wright 
Irrigation Act. The area of the district embraced one hundred 
fifty-six thousand five hundred acres of land lying on the rich, 
level plains of Glenn and Colusa Counties. 

The formation of the irrigation district was an easy matter 
for Mr. Green and his enthusiastic associates. Bonds amounting 
to seven Imndred fifty thousand dollars were voted on the second 
day of April, 1888, for the construction of the necessary canals 
and irrigation works, by a vote of more than five to one. The 
bonds were issued, dated July 1, 1888, bearing interest at six 
per cent., payable semiannually, and redeemable in installments 
at the end of the eleventh year and each succeeding year there- 
after until final maturity. In October, 1889, contracts for canal 
construction were let amounting to two hundred ninety thousand 
dollars, and work was commenced immediately. 

The canal, as originally planned, had its source from the 
Sacramento Eiver at a point near the Tehama County line, at 


which place proper water appropriations were made in behalf 
of the district and for the benefit of those lands embraced within 
the district boundaries. The canal, as proposed, covered the 
lands from its source to about midway between Willows and 
Arbuckle, where its outlet or discharge was provided for by a 
connection with a foothill drainage creek. 

The engineers' original estimates provided for a main canal 
of sixty-tive feet bottom width for a distance of tliirty miles, 
the balance of the distance to be reduced to twenty feet bottom 
width. Lateral canals and subcauals were also included in this 
original estimate. 

Difficulties of a nature beyond the control of the first spon- 
sors of the irrigation district arose, which proved to be the un- 
doing of the district plans. After bonds were sold, prominent 
owners of lands within the district resisted the bond lien upon 
their lands. Suits were brought, and the entire irrigation plan 
was thrown into chaos. Then followed years marked chiefly with 
suits resisting the plans of the district, which resulted finally 
in adverse court decisions as to the validity of the district and 
its bond issue. Water was denied the canal in its imcompleted 
condition, and the labors of a truly progressive irrigationist 
were temporarily lost. To others fell the work of carrying on 
the cause of irrigation in this district. Bridging the years from 
1887 to 1903, progress in irrigation was estopped by litigation 
in all the irrigation districts of tbe county. 

Orland Irrigation Project 

In 1893, John H. Graves, the auditor and recorder of Glenn 
county, entered into a lease arrangement with the stockholders 
of the Stony Creek Irrigation Company, the owners of the only 
operative irrigation system of the county, for their canal system 
serving water to the lands adjacent to their canal, from its intake 
on Stony Creek to the east boundary of the Murdoch Eaneh, west 
of Orland. Mr. Graves interested others in Ms plan to bring 
water into the town of Orland, and in the fall of 1893, through 
the efforts of the lessors of the Stony Creek Irrigation System, 
the canal was extended and water was conducted to the lands of 
Orland and immediate vicinity. The water supply thus furnished, 
however, was found to be inadequate to the successful irrigation 
of the lands of that area. 

From 1893 to 1907 untiring efforts were put forward by 
interested landowners to better irrigation conditions. Through 
the direct efforts of the Sacramento Valley Development Associa- 
tion and its first president. Will S. Green — aided by Frank Free- 
man and Charles L. Donohoe, of Willows, and William and J. B. 


Morrissey, H. A. Greenwood, J. M. Scribner, Frank S. Reager, 
David and Thomas Brown and others, of Orland — the Secretary 
of the Interior, Mr. Garfield, and the Reclamation Service en- 
gineers, investigated the possibilities and benefits of adequate 
irrigation of the lands of Orland and vicinity, and accepted upon 
behalf of the United States Government the responsibility of 
solving the irrigation problem of the district. 

In 1908, the Government reclamation engineers completed 
their plans for the irrigation of an area of fourteen thousand 
acres of land in the immediate vicinity of Orland. Work was 
completed on a dam impounding water in a reservoir on the 
head waters of Stony Creek, in Indian Valley, Colusa County, 
in time for the irrigation season of 1910. Since the advent of 
the Government in the irrigation affairs of Orland and vicinity, 
the development of the resources of that district has steadily 

Laie Canal Inigaiioii Development 

The year 1901 saw the beginning of the rehaltilitation of the 
scheme of Will S. Green for the irrigation of the lands of the 
Central Irrigation District, and in addition the rich sedimentary 
lands along the Sacramento River in Glenn and Colusa Counties. 

During the year 1901, Byron De la Beckwith of Colusa 
conceived the idea of running water to the lands of the Central 
Irrigation District by private enterprise. On November 30, 
1901, water appropriations were made by him on the Sacramento 
River at the present intake of the Central Canal. Immediately 
Mr. Beckwith interested capitalists, among whom were Messrs. 
Sheldon and Schuyler, in an enterprise having as its object 
the lease of the Central Canal then constructed, and its comple- 
tion to the river intake for the watering of lands of the district. 
On September 20, 1902, the plans and efforts of Mr. Beckwith 
resulted in a lease being obtained by Sheldon, Schuyler and 
others upon the main canal of the Central Irrigation District 
from its de facto board of directors, or trustees, for a period of 
fifty years at merely a nominal annual rental. The Central Canal 
and Irrigation Company was organized for the purpose of car- 
rying out the plans for the irrigation of lands of the Central 
Irrigation District, and also lands along the Sacramento River. 
Construction work was commenced almost immediately, and was 
carried on continuously for a period of several years, through 
several changes of management of the company. 

During this time the company was unable to secure the co- 
operation of the landowners within the area to be watered by 
their canal system. Crops had been good for several years, and 


the landowners were not inclined to turn their attention to irri- 
gation and intensive farming. This unexpected opposition on 
the part of the lands to be served with water forced the irriga- 
tion company to abandon the plan of selling water to the lands 
of this area and, in order to assure the success of their enter- 
prise, to assume the added responsibility of purchasing large 
tracts of land and constructing the complete system of irrigation 
works necessary for their irrigation, as a preliminary step to 
sulidividing them and offering for sale small home tracts under 
irrigation for intensive farming. 

This added and unforeseen responsibility offered an oppor- 
tunity to a man of large land-colonization experience. C. M. 
Wooster, of San Francisco, closely identified for years with the 
colonization of lands in California and other states, organized 
the Sacramento Valley Land Company for the purpose of pur- 
chasing lands, bringing them under canal irrigation, subdividing 
them into small home tracts, and colonizing them with farmers 
interested in intensive agriculture. Through the influence of Mr. 
Wooster and Frank E. Robinson of Los Angeles, and associates, 
the ownership of the Central Canal and Irrigation Company 
passed to the owners of the Sacramento Valley Land Company. 
At this time the irrigation system lost its identity as a canal 
company for the irrigation of those lands originally included in 
the plans of Messrs. Green, Beckwith and others, and became 
the governing feature of a land-colonization scheme. In 1905 
and 1906 the ranches of the Honorable John Boggs in Colusa 
County, and of George F. Packer, and a portion of the Glenn 
Ranch, were purchased by the Sacramento Valley Land Company. 
Water was immediately brought to these lands, and the work 
of colonizing commenced. 

The year 1905 was a milestone in irrigation development in 
this section of the county. Thirty years had passed since the 
time when Mr. Green called the first irrigation meeting in Colusa ; 
and eighteen years had passed since the time when the work 
of that tireless irrigationist resulted in the formation of the 
Central Irrigation District. Only the memory of that true friend 
and energetic champion of irrigation was left to the people of 
Glenn and Colusa Counties; but the final realization of his 
dreams, denied him during his lifetime, was now an accomplished 
fact. Others have carried on his work through many adversities, 
still inspired by the memory of his energy and optimism. 

During the next succeeding years, the operation of the canal 
system was continued and extended under adverse conditions. 
In 1908, capitalists from Pittsburgh, Pa., and from Southern 
Idaho, purchased the control of the Central Canal and Irrigation 


Company, and the Sacramento Valley Land Company, merging 
both interests into the Sacramento Valley Irrigation Company. 
This company purchased additional large areas of land, and made 
extensive improvements and extensions of the canal and its lat- 
erals, investing approximately nine millions of dollars in the 
scheme. They immediately subdivided their immense holdings 
into small tracts for purposes of colonization and intensive farm- 
ing, and sold large areas to homeseekers from all states of the 
Union. During this period Glenn and Colusa Counties were the 
most progressive districts of the state in irrigation and colo- 
nization affairs. 

Again adversit}' blocked the ■wheels of progress. Through 
the financial failure of Kulm Brothers, of Pittsburgh, the prin- 
cipal owners of the Sacrameuto Valley Irrigation Company and 
sponsors for the irrigation project, the years from 1913 to 1915 
were years of retrogression. In the year 1916, however, a way 
out of the unfortunate failure of 1912 was believed to have been 
found. The jiresent owners of the canal system, through court 
judgments and rulings of the Public Utilities Commission, have 
learned that the waters of the canal are appropriated only for 
the use of the public, and not for the furtherance of any par- 
ticular private land-colonization enterprise organized and con- 
ducted for its own benefit and profit; and that the plans of Mr. 
Green, as originally made in the sovereign interests of the lands 
of the irrigation district, are not to be interfered with, and water 
is to be held available for the use of the entire district. It is 
proposed to reorganize into an irrigation district, under the laws 
of the state, that territory originally embraced in the old Central 
Irrigation District founded by Mr. Green, thus completing after 
twenty-nine years the plans and hopes of the original organizer 
of the district. 

On December 9, 1916, an irrigation district was formed under 
the laws of the state for the irrigation of those lands south of 
Sidds Landing on the Sacramento River, extending south into 
Colusa County and west to the original boundaries of the old 
Central Irrigation District. The canal and lateral systems are 
already constructed in this district. All that remains to be accom- 
plished by the district is the installation of proper pumping facil- 
ities from the source of water supply, the Sacramento River, near 
Sidds Landing and at Hart's Landing near Princeton, and the 
purchase of the canal-operating system from its present owners. 

A second district is at this time in process of formation for 
the irrigation of those lands north of Sidds Landing on the 
Sacramento River, east of the boundaries of the old Central 


Irrigation District, and between the Main Central Canal and 
the Sacramento Eiver. 

Well and Pumping-Plant Irrigation Bevelopment 

As the early pioneer stockman songht water for domestic 
purposes from rivers, creeks and springs, so the early pioneer 
in irrigation sought water from the same sources. The abundant 
underground water supply for irrigation purposes was overlooked 
by those seeking water for their lands until Henry B. St. Ijouis, 
a farmer west of Norman, investigated and found an abundant 
water supply on his farm. In the spring of 1908, Mr. St. Louis 
bored a well of large diameter and installed a five-inch centrifugal 
pump driven by a gas engine, receiving for his trouble an abun- 
dant supply of water for the irrigation of alfalfa. During years 
past, others had installed small pumping plants. Artesian water 
had been sought at great depths on the Eideout Eanch, later 
known as the Spalding Eanch, in the vicinity of Norman. To 
Mr. St. Louis and his industry, however, can correctly be cred- 
ited the beginning of piimp irrigation in Glenn County. 

Profiting by the experience of Mr. St. Louis, L. H. Twede 
purchased land for the Twede Eanch and Land Company south- 
east of Willows, and developed an adequate water supply for 
general farm crops, and later for rice cultivation. The water 
supply on the Twede Eanch is without equal in the valley. The 
success of Mr. Twede inspired the owners of the Spalding Eanch 
to undertake the development of their large acreage from pump- 
ing wells. Messrs. Wickes and McCurdy installed the first large 
pumping wells on the Fony Glenn Farm southeast of Willows, 
which later proved to the subsequent owners of that farm that 
water for irrigation could be had in abundant quantities by the 
installation of pumping wells. In the vicinity of the Fony Glenn 
Farm, H. M. Garnett developed an adequate supply of water 
for a large acreage of alfalfa, as did also Mrs. Inez Garnett 
Freed, Lloyd T. Lacy, and the Singletary Brothers. 

In the immediate vicinity of Willows, water for irrigation 
was first developed by William Leake, north of the county hos- 
pital, and Charles Clarke, one mile west of Willows, on the 
property now the residence of Charles Lambert. Later, the 
Marshall and Lacroix Farms were sold in small farm units, 
and water for irrigation was developed from wells. Other large 
water-development areas are the Germain Eanch, Mills and 
Brown Eanch Subdivision, and Kattenberg Tracts. 

In the Germantown district, William M. Shaw, on his home 
section south of Germantown, has developed water for the irri- 


gation of about two hundred forty acres of alfalfa and sixty 
acres of orchard. An artesian well, supplemented by a pump, 
supplies water to a storage reservoir; and an underground con- 
crete pipe system conveys water to the different fields without 
loss. Through the demonstration of the abundance of under- 
ground water supply by Mr. Shaw, the Central Forest Company 
developed water for the irrigation of their alfalfa and eucalj-ptus 

Beginning with the first successful large pumping plant of 
Mr. St. Louis in 1908, water development for irrigation from 
wells has gone forward with astonishing rapidity. During a 
period of eight years large areas of land have been brought 
under irrigation that otherwise would have remained undeveloped 
because of the lack of surface supply. The limit boundaries of 
underground water-bearing strata are now well known. Water 
for irrigation can be had from wells over almost the entire area 
not covered by surface gravity supply. Only those lands in the 
immediate vicinity of the low foothills are without abundant un- 
derground water-bearing strata of economical pumping depth. 

Water for irrigation in Glenn County, through the Govern- 
ment Irrigation Project at Orland, the Great Central Canal Pro- 
ject, and the many individual and corporate pumping plants of the 
district not supplied with gravity flow, has added more than ten 
millions of dollars in assessed valuation to the county's wealth. 
During the years 1915 and 1916 a new cereal crop of unlimited 
possibilities has proved a success in the county. Eice has created 
a new demand for large quantities of water; and the Central 
Canal, during the irrigation season of 1917, was filled to capacity 
for the first time in its checkered history. Large individual pump- 
ing plants have been installed for rice culture on the Charles H. 
Glenn Farm and the Mudd Ranch, now the property of Faxon and 
Montague. A second irrigation pumping plant is being installed 
on the Sacramento River at Sidds Landing by P. B. Cross, an 
Oakland capitalist, for the irrigation of ten thousand eight hun- 
dred acres of rice land for the season of 1918. 

Water is King. Its use and benefits are now fully utilized 
and realized. The anti-irrigatiouist has given way to the progress 
of the times. Water under the control of man has proved a 
necessity. The present and future years will lie known as the 
Irrigation Age of Glenn County. 




Origin of the Name 

Standing out in bold relief from the vast expanse of treeless 
])lains, "the willows" were the only landmark in early days 
between the settlements along the river and those in the foot- 
hills. These trees bordered a group of springs oh Willow Creek, 
one mile east of the present town of Willows. Travelers between 
the foothills and Princeton guided their course by the willows, 
and gradually the name was applied to the locality surrounding 
the trees. The first store on the present site of the town was 
known as the store at "the willows." In 1876, when the town 
was formally laid out in lots, there was some talk of changing the 
name to Venado or Zimiwalt, after the first pioneer of the town 
and the man who was instrumental in getting the railroad to pass 
through here at its i^resent location; but the force of habit was too 
strong with the people of the surrounding territory, and the 
place continued to be called "the AVillows." The Post Office 
Department tried to distinguish it from a town in Southern Cali- 
fornia by making the name "Willow"; but as everyone continued 
to address letters by the popular name, even the Post Office De- 
partment finally fell in line, and in 1916 the name was formally 
changed to "Willows," in recognition of the popular wish. 

Early Settlers and Selection of the Toirn Site 

Willows, as a town, dates from June 11, 1876, when William 
Johnson and Moses Hochheimer established a general merchan- 
dise store on the present site of the Glenn County Lumber Com- 
pany's yards. The first family to establish themselves on the 
site of the present town of Willows was that of Daniel Zumwalt, 
Sr., who had built a home on his farm property prior to the 
lieginning of the town. It is related that the first sale from the 
new store was a can of mustard, to Mrs. Zumwalt. Following 
close after the store, came a hotel, hardware store, drug store, 
blacksmith shop and saloon. J. 0. Johnson built the first house on 
what is now Tehama Street. In the fall of 1877, the Southern 
Pacific Company laid out the town site of Willows ; and develop- 
ment was rapid from that time on. 

The Southern Pacific Enters Willows 

On September 26, 1878, the railroad was completed as far as 
Willows; and the event was celebrated with great rejoicing by 


the people of the town. The morning' exercises were given over to 
speeches, music by the band, and the firing of anvils. Hon. John 
Boggs introduced Rev. T. H. B. Anderson, the orator of the day, 
who made a stirring address. After the speaking, the merry- 
making commenced. All sorts of contests, including a fat man's 
race, helped to keep the crowd in a good humor. This was fol- 
lowed by a harvest banquet in the pavilion; and the program 
closed with a masque ball in the evening. 

Gi-OH-th of the Town 

The phenomenal growth of the town in the first two years of 
its existence may be seen from the following inventory of the busi- 
ness interests of the town at the time of the coming of the rail- 
road. There were then three general merchandise stores, two 
hardware stores, three hotels, one grocery store, one drug store, 
one jewelry store, one millinery store, two blacksmith shops, one 
cigar store, one harness shop, three livery stables, one feed mill, 
five sajoons, two barber shojis, and one weekly newspaper. Already 
two physicians had begun practice in the town. 

Early Conftagratious 

Four times in her early history Willows was swept by disas- 
trous fires — only to rise each time, like a phoenix, from the ashes, 
through tlie indomitable will and i)ersistent courage of her citi- 
zens. Probably the most destructive one of these fires was that 
which occurred on May 30, 1882. The following description of the 
fire, taken from Rogers' History of Colusa County, is interesting 
both in itself and as indicating the caliber of the men to whom 
"Willows is indebted for her solid foundation. 

"May 30, a fire broke out at Willows at two o'clock in the 
morning; and in a very short time the principal business portion 
of that thriving, progressive place was in ashes. It was the most 
calamitous event which had ever happened to any part of the 
county. The fire originated in the Central Hotel, occupied by 
Captain Williams ; and a strong north wind prevailing at the time, 
the fire swept all the line of liuildings south, chiefly business 
houses, consisting of stores, saloons, hotels and restaurants. The 
fire was so rapid and so eager in its destructive work, that little 
could be saved. In the hotel where the fire originated, the occu- 
])ants had barely time to escape with their lives. There being no 
water, nor any facilities for fighting the fire, the citizens were 
compelled to stand by and see their property destroyed liy the 
devouring element. . . . The following are the names of those 
who were burned out: Weston's photograph gallery. Park & 


Duncan's law office, Slierfey & Nordyke's butcher sliop, Allen & 
Callahan's saloon, Sehorn & Calder's store. Smith's barber shop, 
Duncan's bakery, saloon of Wm. Bentz, saloon of Samuel Culver, 
F. W. Stone's jewelry store, Hansen's drug store, J. A. Thomp- 
son's grocery, the Gutiuan building, Bates' saloon building, the 
Journal office, 0. E. Coghlan's law office, Hocliheimer & Com- 
pany's general store, post office. Willows Hotel (F. G. Crawford, 
lessee), Palace Hotel, Brooks' saloon, Isaacs' general merchandise 
store, W. L. Eobinson & Company's hardware, Ketchum's saloon, 
Mrs. Jones' house and millinery stock, I. A. Lawrence's under- 
taking rooms, Mrs. E. P. Price's hotel, Clark's tailor shop, Central 
Hotel, Kaminsky's jewelry store, Putnam's drug store, Mellor's 
blacksmith shop and residence, and J. Kahn's clothing stock. The 
total loss was estimated at over $200,000 — a serious if not irrep- 
arable loss, one would be tempted to assert, for a young town 
which had only four years before been a portion of a large cattle 
range, were he not aware of the energy, pluck, perseverance and 
confidence in the future of their town, which the people of Wil- 
lows had always so manifested as to invoke the admiration of 
every newspaper in the state. The loss was not, however, a 
calamity at which despair was permitted to dolefully officiate. It 
was a temporary affliction, involving discomforts and some finan- 
cial inconvenience which could, with good judgment, be removed 
or overcome. Willows had been tried with fire. She had now 
passed her crucial period, her citizens claimed, with a feeling 
almost of satisfaction. To become a leading town in Northern 
California, this baptism of fire is a necessary process; for, argued 
they, there is scarcely a city that has grown to prominence or 
reached eminence in the West, but has gone through the same 
ordeal. This destructive fire seemed to them both a precedent 
and an augury of success; and so, before the ashes of their 
burned business houses had cooled, telegrams flashed over the 
wire for brick and lumber with which to rebuild. Mechanics were 
sent for, and building contractors were making estimates before 
the insurance adjusters had reached the scene of disaster. An 
instance in point exemplifies the energy and confidence of these 
people. When F. G. Crawford, the landlord of the Willows Hotel, 
was burned out completely at two o'clock in the morning, he had 
breakfast prepared for his guests in another building at seven 
o'clock the same morning, while he was a few hours afterwards 
engaged in selecting a spot on which to erect a new hotel. This 
was only one of the many instances of never-faltering pluck and 
unswerving devotion to their handsome, thrifty town. It is this 
spirit of enterprise, of mutual cooperation of purpose, which 
caused Willows to be rebuilt larger and more substantially than 


before, with business houses imsurpassed in the county, and with 
churches and schoolhouses and warehouses which some towns in 
the state having five times her population cannot vie with." 

On October 11, 1886, Willows suffered an experience of 
striking similarity to the one just related. The fire originated in 
about the same location, this time in a small stable back of the 
Central Hotel. A strong north wind was blowing; and the entire 
block, except the bank building, was completely destroyed. Prac- 
tically the same people were losers, to the extent of $140,000, with 
about sixty per cent, of this amount of insurance. Nothing 
daunted by this second misfortune, they again rebuilt the town, 
with the same pluck and energy which characterized their pre- 
vious endeavor. Besides rebuilding the business portion of the 
town, over tifty new homes were erected in the town of Willows 
in the year 1886. 

Organization for Protection against Fire 

In 1887, the Willows Water and Light Company was incor- 
porated, with Milton French, president ; B. H. Burton, vice-presi- 
dent; P.*H. Green, secretary; and the Bank of Willows, treasurer. 
With the installation of the pumps and tanks of the new com- 
pany, the fire menace was materially reduced. The town organ- 
ized two hose companies, with sixty members and the following 
officers : Chief, Henry Bielar ; Foreman Hose Company No. 1, 
J. F. Sersanous ; Foreman Hose Company No. 2, J. D. Crane. 

Although serious conflagrations still occurred, they were com- 
bated with so much zeal and energy on the part of the citizens 
that Willows was never again sulijected to the scourge of fire to 
any considerable extent. 

The Solar Eclipse of 1889 

The year 1889 was ushered in with a great deal of promi- 
nence for Willows in the scientific world. A total eclipse of the 
sun occurred on the first day of January of that year ; and scien- 
tists had figured out that the obscurity of the sun's rays would 
be greatest at Willows. Professor Pickering, of Harvard College, 
Professor Roach, of Blue Hill University, and Professor Upton, 
of Brown University, with their assistants, had erected an observ- 
atory at Willows; and excursion trains were run from various 
parts of the state. The eclipse began a little after eleven a. m. ; 
and so dark did it grow that all the chickens went to roost. The 
time from the beginning of the eclipse until the moon left the disc 
of the sun was a little over two hours; and during this time the 
temperature dropped six and one half degrees. 


Music a I rga ii iza tio >i s 

An organization that wielded a beneficent influence on the 
social life of the town during this early period was Silvey's 
Cornet Band. The people of the town contributed funds for the 
instruction of those who wished to join; and under the efficient 
leadership of M. J. Silvey the band became one of the best in 
Northern California. For many years the Saturday night open 
air band concerts during the summer months were one of the 
most cherished institutions of the town. John A. Apperson, editor 
and proprietor of the Willows Eeview, gathered about him a 
few kindred spirits and organized Apperson 's Orchestra. For 
fifteen years, no local fair, celebration, dance or amateur theatrical 
took place in which one or both of these organizations did not 
take part. 


During these times of busy material progress, the lighter side 
of life was not neglected. Eealizing that "all work and no play 
makes Jack a dull boy," the townspeople took the keenest interest 
in sports. The Willows Jockey Club was organized, with J. E. 
Troxel as president; and a track was laid out. This club was 
finally merged with the Willows Agricultural Association, of which 
mention has been made in a previous chapter. Many promising 
colts were tried out on this track ; and a great stimulus was given 
to the breeding of fine stock in the community, in consequence of 
the friendly rivalry engendered on this course. 

On January 16, 1890, the Willows Athletic Club was organ- 
ized by the younger men of the town, and the keenest interest in 
baseball was manifested by the citizens of the community. Eivalry 
with neighboring towns was intense; and although some of the 
scores seem ludicrous when comjjared with the more professional 
games of today, whatever the players lacked in the way of skill 
in the finer points of the game was more than compensated by 
the increased enthusiasm and partisanship of the fans when 
every player in the home team was a home boy. 
The Period of Groivth 

From 1891 to 1894 Willows experienced quite a Iniilding 
boom, incident to becoming the county seat. Several Ijrick build- 
ings were erected, among them the I. 0. 0. F. Hall, the Newman 
Building, and the Crawford Hotel. The county courthouse was 
erected during this period, and also the present grammar school 
building. The hard times following the panic of 1893 put a stop 
to this activity, and the business portion of the town remained 
practically at a standstill until the coming of the Sacramento 
Valley Irrigation Company in 1909. 


During- the three years which followed the reorganization of 
the work of the irrigation project under the Sacramento Valley 
Irrigation Company, the population of the town more than 
doubled. The hotels were unable to accommodate the newcom- 
ers. Buildings for rent sprang up everywhere. The Sacramento 
Valley Irrigation Company bought Agricultural Park, subdivided 
it into town lots, graded the streets, ])lanted street trees, and 
commenced a lot-selling campaign in the Pittsburg Addition to 
the Town of Willows, as their subdivision was called. Here they 
built the Land Sales Office, Administration Building, Company 
Mess Hall, Company Garage, Company Rooming House and six 
bungalows on Sacramento Street. The Presbyterian and Epis- 
copal Churches were both erected in this subdivision during this 
time, and about twenty modern homes ranging in price from 
twenty-five hundred to ten thousand dollars. In South Willows 
even greater additions were made to the town. A section of four 
blocks in width and three in depth was built up solidly with' 
modern homes, set in the midst of lawns and flowers. In fact, 
the town expanded in every direction, and fine homes were erected 
on choice building sites throughout the town. New streets were 
graded, and the town passed an ordinance requiring every one to 
lay five-foot cement sidewalks in front of his jDroperty. 

But the greatest improvement took place in the business sec- 
tion of the to-rni, which was practically rebuilt during this time. 
Beginning at Tehama and Willow Streets, brick buildings were 
erected by P. B. Lacroix, M. J. Silvey and Frank Burgi. The din- 
ing room and lobby of the Palace Hotel were remodeled. Klem- 
mer Brothers put a new front on their store and an addition at 
the back, which doubled their stock capacity. The brick store on 
the corner of Walnut and Tehama was replaced by the present 
handsome structure of the Bank of Willows. P. H. Green erected 
the fine store building on the corner of Butte and Walnut which 
is occupied by A. D. Pieper's general merchandise store. The 
Wetzold Building, the Masonic Temple, and the City Hall were 
all erected on this block during the same period. On Sycamore 
Street, building activity was even greater than elsewhere. The 
Purkitt Building, the Willows Opera House, the Glenn County 
Savings Bank Building, the Barceloux Building, the Orr Build- 
ing, and the Reidy Building are all substantial brick structures 
which were erected between 1910 and 1912. The Crawford House 
was remodeled along modern lines, and an addition was made 
to it to house the First National Bank of Willows. Hochheimer 
& Company remodeled their store and added to it, so that it is 
now conceded to be one of the finest department stores north of 


The Passing of the Saloon 

Where there is so much building and development going on, 
there is bound to be a large floating population, some of whom 
are more or less undesirable, or even desperate, characters; and 
Willows was no exception to the rule. After two or three bad 
shooting and stabbing affrays in the saloons, the more conserva- 
tive element of the population decided that such a condition of 
affairs must be remedied. Eegulation was tried, without pro- 
ducing the desired results ; and in 1913 a bitter Avet and dry agita- 
tion divided the town. All the odium attached to the acts of this 
transient pojoulation fell on the saloon as an institution; and 
many people who were not prohibitionists from principle voted to 
close up the town as a relief from existing conditions. The first 
measure tried was merely a blow at the licensed saloon. It was 
a special ordinance drawn up by the attorneys of the town, allow- 
ing liquor to be served in restaurants with a twenty-five cent 
order, and i^ermitting the sale of bottled goods. This also was 
unsatisfactory in effect; and jjeople claimed that it was unjust, 
and discriminatory against the poor man. Finally, after much 
agitation pro and con, the town was voted dry at the next election 
under the Wylie Local Option Law. Whether because of our near- 
ness to Orland or on account of the ease with which people who 
will drink can obtain liquor lawfully, it is difficult to say; but at 
any rate, the evils of blind-pigging which the Wets prophesied 
would follow the abolition of the saloons have not materialized. 
Some few cases there have been; but these have been prosecuted 
so severely by the officers of the law, and have been meted out 
such summary punishment by the courts, that if any still exist 
they are so obscure that their influence is negligible. 

After the election under the Wylie Local Option Law, the 
block on Tehama Street between Walnut and Sycamore under- 
went a complete transformation. Stores, restaurants, and two 
soft-drink parlors occupy the block where formerly almost every 
other door was a saloon. 

The Churches 

The spiritual, social, and intellectual needs of the community 
are amply provided for. Seven religious denominations are rep- 
resented, and are attended by large congregations. They are the 
Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Christian and Epis- 
copal Churches, and the Church of Christ, Scientist. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church has the distinction of being 
the pioneer church of Willows, . its congregation having been the 


first to erect an edifice in the town, in 1879. Willows was then 
a wide expanse of plain, with no trees and few houses to break 
the force of the wind ; and on March 8, 1880, the new church was 
hfted several inches off its foundation by a strong norther. This 
condition was soon righted, and the building served the needs of 
the congregation until its capacity was outgrown by the increased 
membership during the boom, when the present handsome edifice 
was erected. Back of the church, there is a neat and commodious 

The Baptist Church was organized in 1879, with fourteen 
constituent members; but for some years the growth of the con- 
gregation was impeded by the lack of a house of worship. The 
members first held services in a schoolhouse near I. V. Deven- 
peck's place; and later, through the courtesy of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, ^the privilege of worshiping there was extended 
to them. In 1886 the present church buildiug was erected. It 
has been remodeled and enlarged several times, to keep pace with 
the growing congregation. Next door to the church, there is a 
comfortable two-story parsonage. 

The first Catholic services in the town were held in the court- 
room of the first justice of the peace, Judge Caroloff. The pres- 
ent church, St. Monica's, is a substantial brick structure which 
has recently been enlarged to accommodate the growing congrega- 
tion. The old parish house has just been replaced by a fine mod- 
ern building, which speaks more eloquently than words for the 
number and liberality of the parishioners. 

The Presbyterian Church, and the manse adjoining, were 
built in 1910 on lots donated for that purpose by the Sacramento 
Valley Irrigation Company. The church is an artistic building 
of cream stucco, with a very attractive interior. 

Although it numbers among its members some of the pioneer 
settlers of the town, the Christian Church was not established 
until 1886. The church is centrally located, and has a neat and 
commodious building. 

The Episcopal Church is an attractive building located in the 
Pittsburg Addition to the Town of Willows. Services are held 
there every second and fourth Sunday in the month. The church 
and its furnishings are now free of debt, and the congregation 
hopes soon to provide a rectory and have a resident minister. 

The Church of Christ, Scientist, is probably the youngest re- 
ligious organization in the town ; but it has an active and growing 
membership. Services are held Wednesdays and Sundays in the 
church building on Walnut Street. 


Secret Orgcniizations 

The following secret organizations, each in a flourishing con- 
dition, with a large and active membership, have lodges in the 
town : The Masons, Laurel Lodge, No. 245, and the accompanying 
Marshall Chapter, No. 86, 0. E. S. ; the Lidependent Order of 
Odd Fellows, Monroe Lodge, No. 289, and the Daughters of Re- 
bekah; the Woodmen of the World; the Native Daughters of the 
Golden West; and E. Campus Vitus, No. 5, popularly known 
as the "Clampers." This latter organization probably has a 
membership equal to the other lodges combined. While it is 
organized as a lodge, with initiation ceremonies, etc., for the good- 
fellowship which these create among the men, the "Clampers" 
are in reality a boost organization for all movements tending 
toward the civic and economic betterment of the town. The lodge 
maintains a brass band, which is making wonderful progress under 
the leadership of E. N. Fenton. Any movement which the 
Clampers back is sure to be put through with vim. 

The Schools 

Willows has always been proud of the high standard main- 
tained by her schools, and has also been most liberal in their sup- 
port. In 1878, when barely two years old, the town voted ten 
thousand dollars in bonds to provide adequate school facilities. 
In 1890, only twelve years later, bonds to the value of fifteen thou- 
sand dollars were voted without a dissenting ballot, and the 
present grammar school building was erected. This building is 
now taxed to its full capacity; and unless the town receives some 
severe setback, either the building will have to be replaced with 
a larger one or an additional school must be built within the next 
year or so. There are at present ten teachers in the grammar 
school, all doing excellent work: Principal, H. G. Rawlins; vice- 
principal, J. E. Birch; assistants. Miss Olive M. Farnham, Miss 
Grace Bell, Miss Mabel Hunter, Miss Gladys Campbell, Miss 
Gladys Parks, Miss Lulu West, Miss Donna Silvey, and Miss 
Sadie F. Reidy. The parents as a whole speak with pride of the 
progress made by the children. 

In 1903 the first Glenn County High School building was 
erected at a cost of six thousand six hundred fifty dollars. 
Through the rapid increase in population of the town and sur- 
rounding country from 1910 on, the building became so inade- 
quate to the sudden extra demands made upon it for space, that a 
large tent room was used in addition, while seventy-five thousand 
dollars in bonds was being voted and the present splendid struc- 
ture was under process of construction. So much interest in 


the school is felt liy the people of the community, that the large 
auditorium is completely filled and even standing room is at a 
premium whenever the students give a play or an entertainment. 
The Glenn County High School is an accredited institution, and 
a large number of its graduates go on to college each year. 

The Library 

In 1904, a movement to provide a free reading room was 
started by some of the pulilic-spirited women of the community. 
Mrs. A. J. Burgi, Mrs. B. 0. Cobb, and Miss Inez Garnett were 
appointed a committee to solicit and receive subscriptions for that 
puriDose. They collected four hundred dollars. With this amount, 
and donations of books and magazines, a free reading room was 
established in the Newman Building on Walnut Street. On March 

15, 1906, this reading room was taken over by the town. There- 
after it was known as the Willows Free Public Library, and was 
supported by taxation. Finally the Women's Improvement Club, 
during the presidency of Mrs. Charles L. Douohoe, secured a 
ten-thousand-dollar donation from the Carnegie Corporation ; and 
the corner stone of the Carnegie Library, on the corner of Plumas 
and Walnut, was laid with appropriate ceremonies on November 

16, 1910. 

Sheridan Park 

Another civic improvement for which the Improvement Club 
must be given credit, and one which added greatly to the esthetic 
enjoyment of life in Willows, was the transformation wrought in 
"Fox Tail Park," as it was popularly called from the only ver- 
dure adorning it. The lot belongs to the Southern Pacific Railroad 
Company, who seemed very much averse to having anything done 
with it; but the Woman's Improvement Club, backed by the Busi- 
ness Men's Association of the Town of Willows, succeeded in 
having the lot parked. The park is maintained by the railroad 
company, and is called Sheridan Park in honor of one of the 
company officials. 

The State Highivay 

The State Highway runs through one of the main business 
streets of the Town of Willows ; and for a distance of three blocks, 
through the business portion of the town, the entire width of the 
street is paved. The completion of this pavement in December, 
1915, was celebrated with a huge municipal Christmas tree, put up 
in the middle of the crossing of Sycamore and Tehama Streets. 
Bands played on the corner, and crowds of people danced on the 
pavement. The weather was perfect, being clear and just cold 
enough to give zest and snap to the affair. The sidewalks were 


througed with people, and everywhere the holiday spirit shone in 
the faces of the dancers who made merry, and of the spectators 
who exchanged the greetings of the season with friends on the 

The Federal Building 
In the summer of 1917, work was commenced on a seventy- 
five-thousand-dollar Federal Building located on the northwest 
corner of Shasta and Sycamore Streets. The building will be 
completed by the fall of 1918, at which time it will house the Post 
Office, the Glenn County farm advisor's office, and the office and 
headquarters of the supervisor of the California National Forest. 

Stability and Growth 

The latter part of the year 1913, together with the year 1914, 
was a period of misgiving in Willows, due to the financial up- 
heaval in the Sacramento Valley Irrigation Company. It was 
rumored that water would be turned out of the canal, and that 
the settlers would lose their equities in the land if the bondholders 
took over the company; and grave fears were felt for the effect 
of this on the business of the town. Many, frightened at the first 
breath of adversity, predicted that the bottom would fall out of 
prices, that the town was overbuilt, and that there would be a 
general slump. A number of settlers did leave, preferring to start 
in again to facing uncertainty; but those who braved defeat and 
stuck to their land are now more prosperous than at any other 
time since their advent to the community. Not only has water 
continued to run in the canal, but on account of furnishing water 
for rice, the new cereal crop, it has been run to the fullest capacity 
and additional pumps have been installed near the headgate to 
insure a greater supply. 

The growth of Willows was very rapid, but it was not an 
inflated boom. This is proved conclusively by the fact that the 
town withstood the shock of the failure of the company to which 
she owed her rapid growth, and that now, within two years after 
that shock, there are no vacant houses in town, business is flour- 
ishing, and the hotels are often unable to supply accommodations 
for all who desire them. The prosperity of the town is rooted 
deep in that of the county. Everywhere development has been 
steadily going forward — more rapidly in some localities than in 
others, it is true; but all over the county the march of progress 
has been steady. That the farmers are more prosperous than ever 
before is evidenced by the fact that Glenn County was the first 
county in the United States to subscribe its maximum quota of 
the second Liberty Loan of 1917, the greater portion of which 
was taken through the banks of the town of Willows. 



Choice of the Name 

Orland was settled about 1875, and was part of a farm owned 
bj^ a man named Chamberlain. The following interesting incident 
of how Orland received its name is copied from the Orland Regis- 
ter, issue of January 10, 1917, commemorating the death of 
Jonathan Griffith, one of the pioneer founders of the town : 

"Most interesting of all is the story of the naming of the 
town of Orland. Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Griffith, assisted by 
Mr. Brown, got together to petition for a post office, each suggest- 
ing a name for the new town. Mr. Griffith suggested Leland, 
after Leland Stanford ; while one of the others — Mr. Chamberlain, 
it is understood — suggested Comstock. Mr. Brown stuck for 
Orland, the name of the town of his birth in England. 

"The deadlock could not be broken, each sticking for his 
favorite. At last the names were written on slips of paper and 
placed in a hat. Destiny, in the shape of an interested youth, 
drew out the name of Orland; and Orland it has been, to 
this day." 

Settlement and Early Development 

In 1875, Joseph James and T. H. Dodson located in Orland, 
and the latter opened a hotel and store. Other settlers followed 
rapidly, and in 1879 agitation was started to extend the railroad 
to Orland. 

Nearly all towns of rapid growth have suffered disastrous 
fires; and Orland was no exception to the rule. On October 30, 
1880, the town was laid in ashes, twenty-three buildings being 
consumed, at a loss of forty thousand dollars. 

In 1883, the first train was run through from Willows to Red 
Bluflf ; and from that year development went on at a steady pace. 
Schools and church buildings were erected, and many comfort- 
able homes were established. 

The College at Orland 

In order that the young men and women of the town might 
have higher educational advantages than those afforded by the 
public school. Prof. J. B. Patch interested several of the 
large landowners in the vicinity and the business men of the 
town in establishing a college at Orland. The plan was to sell 
stock to the value of a certain number of thousands of dollars. 


to secure the price of the building material ; the professor was to 
superintend the building and aid in its construction for his inter- 
est, and the expense of maintenance was to be met by charging 
the pupils tuition. A substantial two-story brick building was 
erected, and the school was lilierally patronized liy the people of 
the town. 

Professor Patch was a very good instructor, Init he did not 
have the necessary tact for managing an institution of that sort. 
In fact he had a wonderful capacity for making enemies, and soon 
found himself in very straitened circumstances as a result. The 
following amusing incident in the professor's career is taken 
from Rogers' History of Colusa County: 

"It ai^pears that he [the professor] was indebted to Mr. 
Lake and refused to pay. Lake, on January l-t, 1884, secured 
judgment after bringing suit. Armed with an execution. Lake and 
Constable Gifford proceeded to the college. But the professor 
was prepared for them. Up in the belfry of the college he had 
deposited a cart load of stones from the creek. When the con- 
stable would approach, down would come a shower of cobble- 
stones. . If the officer of the law attempted to parley with him, 
the professor would ring the bell \dgorously. Then the constable 
procured a warrant against him for resisting an officer. Eeturn- 
ing with this document, the constable effected an entrance into 
the second story, but there was the professor again in the bell 
tower overhead, with the ladder pulled up. Then the besiegers 
endeavored to capture the determined jjrofessor by means of 
planks shoved into the scuttle hole, when down oiit of the airy 
fortress came the muzzle of a gun with the doughty professor 
behind it. A parley was held, the professor dictated his own 
terms of surrender, and these were, that he was to be allowed 
to carry his gun, was to be tried in Colusa and not in Orland, and 
that no one should come within so many yards of him. The 
besieged then came down from the tower, where he had been 
exposed for hours to one of the coldest northers that had ever 
visited the valley. He entered one of the school rooms, where 
he drew a dead line with a piece of chalk, the constable being 
placed on one side of it and the professor on the other, where 
both spent a cheerless night." 

Professor Patch was succeeded by Prof. William Henslee, who 
conducted the school for four years in a highly successful man- 
ner. He was followed in turn by Prof. A. P. Stone. The college 
had never paid any dividends — in fact there was generally a 
deticit — so the enterprise at length was abandoned. The old build- 
ing stood vacant for many years, liut was finally razed to 
the ground. 


The Bank of Oiiand 

On March 7, 1887, tlie Bank of Orland was incorporated with 
a capital stock of one hundred tliousand dollars. A. Bierman was 
elected president; Laban Scearce, vice-president; and E. B. Mur- 
dock, cashier. The directors were H. W. C. Nelson, L. Scearce.. 
A. Bierman, A. D. Logan, and W. C. Mnrdock. 

.-1 Patriotic Event 

On April 30, 1889, the one hundredth anniversary of the 
inauguration of George Washington as President of the United 
States was celebrated at Orland. Hon. Laban Scearce was presi- 
dent of the day, and Gen. N. P. Chipman delivered the oration. 
In the afternoon there was a general reunion of the pioneers of 
the vicinity, and the celebration closed with a grand ball in the 

Irrigation niul Development 

Orland was the pioneer conununity of the county as regards 
its interest in irrigation matters. It was the first section to 
organize a district under the Wright Irrigation Act, in 1887; and 
after struggling along for twenty years under faulty irrigation 
laws and adverse conditions, it has the greater honor of being 
tlie'first and only section of the county to have solved its irriga- 
tion problems successfully. The period from 1887 to 1894 was 
one of growth and development for Orland. Great interest was 
felt in the possibilities of irrigation; and enough was done in 
the way of development, during this period, to prove conclu- 
sively that the soil and climate were suited to agricultural indus- 
tries, particularly along horticultural lines, and that water, the 
only lack, could be supplied if only enough capital could be in- 
terested in the undertaking. 

About 1894-1895, development was arrested. The supply of 
water was found to be inadequate to carry out the plans of the 
directors, the irrigation company became involved in litigation, 
and from that time until the project was backed by the United 
States government the growth of the town was very slow. 

By the combined efforts of the prominent landowners and 
business men of Orland and vicinity. Secretary of the Interior 
Garfield was interested in the benefits which would accrue to 
the community by the application of water to the land. Under his 
orders engineers of the Government Reclamation Service were to 
investigate conditions. The plan met with considerable op]5o- 
sition, because this was the first instance where the government 
had ever advanced the initial cost of irrigation works for the 
benefit of privately owned lands. All other irrigation projects, 


111) to this time, had been uudertaken for the i^urpose of bringing 
water to arid government lauds, for the benefit of the actual 
settlers. After a period of nerve-wracking suspense for the 
people most vitally interested, the government accepted the re- 
sponsibility of bringing water to a district comprising fourteen 
thousand acres, including Orland and the immediate vicinity. The 
property which, now constitutes the reservoir site on the head 
waters of Stony Creek was secured; and work commenced on 
the dam for impounding water to fill the reservoir which was 
to be created. The dam is a massive concrete structure, over 
ninety feet high, and serves the country below it in the dual 
capacity of protector from drought and flood. The channel of 
Stony Creek is utilized by the government for carrying the 
irrigation water as far as the diversion dam a few miles west of 
Orland. Here the water is diverted into a canal, and is thence 
conducted to the lauds of the project. In 1914 a canal was con- 
structed, greatly adding to the drainage area by which the reser- 
voir is fed; and with this additional supply of water secured, the 
territory affected by the project was increased to twenty thou- 
sand acres. 

As soon as the government signified its intention of com- 
pleting the irrigation jiroject, Orland entered into an era of 
prosperity; and from year to j-ear its growth and development 
have steadily increased. The population of the town has more 
than doubled. There are now over eighteen hundred people 
residing within its corporate limits. As no sketch of Orland can 
be written without combining it with the history of the irrigation 
project, it would probably be fairer to say that the population 
has quadrupled, for there are over thirty-five hundred people 
residing in the project for whom Orland is the center, commer- 
cially and educationally. During the last five years, many hand- 
some business buildings have been added to the town. The largest 
of these is the Masonic Temi)le liuilding, a fine three-story con- 
crete structure. 

The Schools 

Perhaps no better indication of Orland 's increase in popula- 
tion could be given than the growth of her schools. In 1910 the 
district erected a thirty-thousaud-dollar grammar school build- 
ing of the most approved type, providing, as the trustees then 
thought, sufficient space for future expansion. The school has 
now, within four years from that date, completely outgrown the 
space allotted, and is using in addition the old high school build- 
ing, which is just across the street. The average daily attend- 






ance for 1915-1916 was three hundred twenty-seven, the largest of 
any school in the county. 

One of the finest things about the community life of Orland 
is the splendid cooperation that exists between the teachers and 
the parents. This is reflected in the school spirit of the children, 
who believe the Orland schools to be not only the biggest but the 
best in the county, and take pride in trying to keep them in 
the lead. 

The Orland Joint Union High School 

This spirit is manifested also by the pupils of the Orland 
Joint Union High School, which in point of attendance is the 
largest high school in the county. The course of instruction 
is eminently practical, and consistently and thoroughly followed 
out. One year the boys of the manual training class built a bun- 
galow. The next year they employed their time in the erection 
of a large concrete gymnasium for the school. The demonstra- 
tions of the other departments of the school work were among 
the most interesting exhibits of the Counv Fair held in Orland 
in October, 1917. 

The Orland Joint Union High School is an accredited insti- 
tution. The Imilding was erected at a cost of forty-five thousand 
dollars, and is modern in every respect. 

The Churches 

Orland has excellent church facilities, nearly all the prin- 
cipal religious denominations being represented. The Baptist, 
Methodist and Catholic Churches are the pioneer churches of 
Orland. In the case of each of these denominations, the church 
building was erected in the eighties, before the rapid growth of 
the town began. The Catholic congregation is still without a 
resident i^riest, the priest at Willows di^'iding his time between the 
church at Orland and his home congregation. The Presbyterian 
and Swedish Lutheran Churches have been erected more recently, 
since the division of the lands of the project brought in an influx 
of settlers belonging to these denominations. The Episcopalians 
maintain a mission, at which services are held once a month. 

Fraternal and Civic Organizations 

Some of the most prominent fraternal organizations of 
Orland are the Masons, Eastern Star, Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, 
Woodmen of the World, Women of Woodcraft, Fraternal Brother- 
hood, and Independent Order of Foresters. 

Orland has also a very active Women's Improvement Club, of 
which Mrs. S. Albee is president, and Mrs. Gr. E. Rawlins, secre- 


tary. Tliis organization lias strongly backed tlie movement for a 
civic center, and has obtained from the Carnegie Corporation the 
promise of eight thonsand dollars for a library building. 

The Saloons 

Orland is the only town in the county where the sale of 
liquor is still licensed. There have been two heated controversies 
and elections, in an endeavor to make the town dry. In these, 
public opinion was about equally divided. The first election, in 
1913, resulted in a tie vote; and as the law says "a majority" 
vote is necessary, conditions remained the same. The matter was 
brought up again at the next election; but this time the "Wets" 
had made a distinct gain, and had a majority in their favor. 

Orland however is a clean town morally. Eegulation is most 
strictly enforced, not only by the officers, but also by the saloon- 
keepers themselves, who realize that it would take very little to 
turn the balance of public opinion against them. There has never 
lieen in Orland any such violations of the law, nor any such 
flagrant defiance of public opinion, as made the abolition of the 
saloons in Willows a necessity. 


Business in Orland is flourishing. The country tributary to 
it on the west is the center of one of the most profitable indus- 
tries of this iDeriod, the raising of cattle and sheep. On the small 
intensive farms of the project, dairying is carried on extensively. 
The pay rolls of the two creameries in Orland aggregate many 
thousands of dollars each month. Just outside the project in 
each direction are extensive areas of de^'elopment from private 
water supplj^ — pumping wells, etc. These areas are being planted 
to fruits and nuts — oranges, olives and almonds being the favor- 
ites. These young orchards have not yet come into bearing; but 
the next two or three years will see, through them, wonderful 
additions to the wealth of the community. Orland is now, and 
will continue to be, the center of the most thickly populated dis- 
trict in the county. One thing that augurs well for the future 
of the Orland district is, that all the industries conducive to its 
prosperity are such as are congenial to American settlers and 

Appearance of the Town 

The town of Orland itself presents a somewhat scattering 
appearance in some of its residential districts, but that is because 
it is essentially a collection of homes. Rarely do you see more 
than three houses to a block in Orland. Each home is set in a 


wide yard, with flowers and trees, and a small garden patcli or 
poultry yard. During the last five years, many fine residences 
have been built in the town. There is no place of similar size 
in Northern California where so large a percentage of the popu- 
lation is housed in commodious homes equipped with all modern 
conveniences. Probably this condition is due to the recent rapid 
growth of the town. 

A List of the Business Places 

The following list of business places will show the number 
and variety of the business interests in the town of Orland at 
present : 

Two banks: The Bank of Orland and the First National 
Bank. Five grocery stores: Orland Mercantile, Hightower's Cash 
Grocery, F. Lofgren, The New Grocery, and The Table Supply 
Grocery, W. F. Beaulieu, proprietor. Two jewelry stores: R. A. 
Beland and T. J. Green. Realty dealers : The California Farms 
Company, Ehorn's Realty Office, Geo. E. Nygaard, and Spence & 
Thompson. Confectionery stores: Wright's Confectionery; Kandy 
Korner, Jos. Sperlich, i^roprietor; and T. J. Green. Lumber 
yards: The Diamond Match and Hazelton Lumber Companies. 
Hardware stores: G. M. Hickman and Hicks & Chaney. Saloons: 
E. M. Ehorn, E. E. Green, and Gus Utz. Hotels: Hotel Orland 
and Hotel Royal. General merchandise stores: Farmers' Cash 
Store and The People's Store Company. Bakery: Home Bakery. 
Garages: Fifth Street Garage, Johnson Bros., Mecum's Garage, 
J. Michie & Son, and E. O. Mintou. Dry goods: A. Gattmann. 
Drug stores: Harrington's Pharmacy, Orland Drug Store, and 
Vinsonhaler & Snow. Butcher shops: City Market, J. Johansen, 
and H. Sievers. Cyclery: C. A. King. Oil dealer: Minton 
Bros. Dairy : J. Morrill. Feed and produce stores : Orland 
Exchange, Orland Milling Company, C. H. Steere Company. 
Restaurants: Ung Lee and Orland Cafe. Livery stable: W. R. 
Tucker. Newspapers : The Orland Unit, and the Orland Register. 
Other places of business are : The Orland Alfalfa Meal Mill, the 
Orland Cheese Factory, the Orland Creamery, and the Orland 
Steam Laundry. John Mehl, the pioneer shoe dealer of Orland, 
is still proprietor of a shoe store on Fourth Street. 

The Professions 

The physicians of Orland are Dr. T. H. Brown, Dr. H. W. 
Hand, Dr. S. Iglick, and Dr. Martin, the last-named being absent 
at the front at the time of this writing. The attorneys are H. "W. 
Blichfeldt and H. W. McGowan. The dentist is Dr. G. E. Rawlins. 


The Glenn County Livestock and Agricultural Association 

In 1917 the Glenn County Livestock and Agricultural Asso- 
ciation was formed, with John J. Flaherty, president; Chris 
Myhre, vice-president; E. A. Kirk, secretary; and H. M. Kingwell, 
treasurer. It was decided to hold the first annual fair in Orland 
on September 26-29, 1917. All through the summer the officers 
and directors of the association worked tirelessly to perfect their 
plans and arrangements. It seemed as though they had prepared 
for every possible contingency; but alas, "The best laid plans o' 
mice and men gang aft agley." On the Monday before the 
Wednesday on which the fair was to open, disaster overtook its 
promoters. The big tents had just been erected, and the booths 
were being installed, when a strong "norther" brought all their 
work to naught. At eleven o'clock on Monday, the big tents were 
flat and the canvas a mass of flying ribbons. By one o'clock 
the same day, the directors had had their meeting, had post- 
poned the opening just one week, and had already started in to 
notify exhibitors and repeat their advertising campaign. Seven 
of the best sailmakers in San Francisco were imported to repair 
what could be saved of the tent. Euined sections were com- 
pletely replaced; and Wednesday morning, October the third, 
found everything in readiness. The fair was an unqualified suc- 
cess. Seventy-five hundred people passed through the gates the 
first day. The courage and optimism of the directors, and their 
quickness of decision, tireless energy and splendid cooperation, 
had snatched victory from defeat. This incident of the fair is 
given in such detail because it typifies the spirit prevailing among 
the people of Orland, their freedom from faction and petty jeal- 
ousy, and the whole-hearted cooperation with which they stand 
shoulder to shoulder for anything tending toward the welfare 
and advancement of their community. 


'^O 6u^ 



From the time of settling in what is now Glenn County, in 
1870, until his death, which occurred in February, 1917, Pacific 
Ord Fibe was one of the most influential business men and citizens 
of the county. Emphatically a man of work, he was never idle, 
but continued to be one of the most enterprising and active men 
of Willows. No enterprise was projected that failed to receive his 
substantial encouragement, and every plan for the promotion of 
the public welfare had the lieuefit of his keen judgment and wise 
cooperation. A man of broad and charitable views, he aided every 
movement for the advancement of education, morality or the well- 
being of the county. "No man was held in higher esteem by the 
people of this county, and they showed their love for him by 
thrusting honor after honor upon him." Thus spoke one of the 
leading county newspapers of Pacific Ord Elbe, at the time of his 
death; and the sentiment unquestionably reflects the opinion of 
thousands of his fellow citizens who, during his varied and useful 
career, either knew him or knew about him. 

Born at Pacific Springs, Utah, on June 29, 1854, the future 
pioneer first saw the light when his parents, Matthew and Emily 
(Zumwalt) Elbe, were crossing the plains to California. They 
were members of a large train of emigrants drawn by ox teams, 
and when they reached Pacific Springs many of their oxen so sick- 
ened and died from poisoning that this delayed the parties at that 
point for a number of weeks. While there a baby son was born; 
and his parents, wishing to commemorate the event, gave him the 
name Pacific after the place of his birth. 

When the Elbe family arrived in the Golden State, they 
settled for a time in Solano County, near Silveyville, where their 
son, Pacific Ord, attended the common schools. Afterwards he 
took a preparatory course in a business college at Berkeley, and 
then worked at home until in 1870, when, with his brother, J. C. 
Elbe, he took up his residence on what is today known as the Eibe 
ranch, two miles west of Willows, Glenn County, where he farmed 
to grain and raised stock successfully. In due time his fellow 
citizens found in Pacific Ord Eibe the qualities necessary in a public 
officer, and he entered upon his public career as a deputy under 
Lon Stewart, county assessor of Glenn County upon its organiza- 



tiou. For eight years Mr. Elbe served iu that capacity, and then 
became a candidate for the office of assessor and was elected by a 
handsome majority. At the end of his tirst term he was reelected 
to the office through the will of the people, serving to the end of 
his term with commendation from everybody. 

Believing that it would be a good plan to let some one else 
have a chance at the office, Mr. Elbe refused to be a candidate for 
reelection and retired to business life for the following four years. 
In partnership with I. J. Proulx, he carried on a very successful 
and extensive real estate business. During this time, he was in- 
strumental in having the great Glenn estate subdivided, and in 
having thirty thousand out of the fifty thousand acres sold. In 
1905, the community thought no better representative of Glenn 
County could be selected for the Lewis and Clark Exposition at 
Portland, and Mr. Elbe therefore went north on his official mission, 
returning to his home after the duties of the position were ended. 

In 1909 Mr. Elbe was induced to become a candidate for the 
office of county supervisor from the First District in Glenn 
County; and he was elected by an overwhelming majority. Four 
years later he was reelected ; and still again the iieople, appreciat- 
ing his honest and painstaking administration, invited him, at the 
November election, 1916, to retain his portfolio. He worked for 
and favored every project that would build up Glenn County. He 
induced many to buy land and become settlers on the Glenn Tract, 
when the land was cheap. Since that time the land has increased 
five, and even six, times in value. He favored the building of good 
schoolhouses and the maintaining of a high standard of education. 
He named the Ord district ; gave to every church, no matter what 
its denomination ; was a man of broad intelligence, keenly alive to 
every opportunity offered in the county; and made and retained 
friends wherever he went. It was while he was an incumbent in 
office that he passed away, following a long period of illness. His 
death was commemorated by the unfurling at half-mast of many 
flags througliout the city and county. Thus passed a man who 
held a clean record all through his career, which he left as a her- 
itage to his dependents. 

The first marriage of Pacific Ord Elbe took place in 1880, 
in Solano County, when he was united with Miss Maud Emma 
Abbott, and two children were born to brighten the home circle: 
Ernest V. ; and Maud Emma, who died at the age of five months. 
Ernest V. is living on the home place and assisting in its manage- 
ment. Mrs. Elbe passed away on December 23, 1884 ; and on No- 
vember 5, 1905, Mr. Elbe married Mrs. Belle (Quint) Barceloux, 
who survives him, together with three of his brothers and a sister : 
A. O. Eibe, of San Francisco; J. C. Elbe, of Sacramento; T. T. 


Elbe, of Dixon ; and Mrs. M. J. Parrish, of Napa. At the time of 
her marriage to Mr. Eibe, Mrs.-Eibe was the widow of Ernest J. 
Barceloiix, a son of Peter Barceloux, a pioneer of Glenn Connty. 
Three children were born of her first marriage: P. Elmer, Leo 
Vernon, and Ernest J., who are with their mother on the home 
ranch. Of a very sociable nature, Mr. Eibe was a member of 
Chico Lodge, No. 423, B. P. 0. Elks, and of Monroe Lodge No. 
289, 1. O. 0. F., at Willows, of which lie was a charter member, and 
in wliicli he passed through all the chairs. Shortly before his 
death, he embraced the CathoUc faith of his own free will. 

After her husband's death Mrs. Eibe took up the burden of 
running the home ranch, assisted by Mr. Eibe's son, Ernest V.; 
and here they raise fine Egyptian corn, barley, hogs and cattle. 
On the place tliere are some two thousand prune trees, five years 
old, besides cherries, apples, peaches and ajiricots. The place was 
developed by Mr. and Mrs. Eibe after they took up their residence 
there. Mrs. Eibe ever proved her wortli as a true helpmate to her 
husband in all his business affairs. She made his home life happy, 
and in his home he was always to be found after his business was 
concluded, his happiest hours being spent in her society. 


Those men who have been far-sighted enough to engage in 
the dairy industry in Colusa County are now reaping their re- 
turns, and realize that intensive farming on a few acres will 
bring a larger percentage of profit, in proportion to the expenses, 
than the cultivation of a large acreage. John Nelson of Maxwell 
is one of these men; for immediately upon his arrival in Cali- 
fornia, in 1904, he came to Maxwell, bought sixty acres of land, 
part of the Moak ranch, and began making improvements by 
putting in alfalfa, preparatory to starting a dairy. He further 
improved his place with a family orchard of almonds, pears, figs, 
peaches, prunes and oranges; and he has eight and one half 
acres in table and raisin grapes, from which he gathers from four 
to six tons annually. Mr. Nelson sunk a well and installed a 
pumping plant, run by electric motor, so that he has his own 
irrigation system for his seventeen acres of fine- alfalfa, besides 
his orchard and vineyard, and also has an ample supply of water 
for domestic purposes. A dairy of fifteen cows yields a good 
income ; and he also raises Duroc-Jersey hogs for the market. 

John Nelson was born in Bylleberga, Skane, Sweden, March 
18, 1866, and attended the home schools until he was fifteen, when 
he came to America with the familv, and settled in Minnesota. 


There the father bought an eighty-acre farm, which he improved, 
and on which he raised wheat, oats and flax. He rented consider- 
able land adjoining, and in connection with his other farming 
operations also ran a dairy and raised cattle. When John Nelson 
was twenty-one he bought the farm from his father, and continued 
operating it along the same lines, raising the same products. He 
worked hard, farming on a large scale for a number of years, and 
making a success of his labors. When he had enough to make a 
start in California, wishing to avoid the rigorous winters of Min- 
nesota, he disposed of his interests and came to this state. What 
he has accomplished here speaks for itself and is a splendid ex- 
ample for the homeseeker to follow. 

Mr. Nelson married Christina Pearson, also born in Sweden ; 
and they have four children: W^arner, Delphin, Emma, and Wes- 
ley. Wesley is a member of the Odd Fellows in Maxwell. Mrs. 
Nelson died on March 23, 1905, at the age of thirty-seven years. 
Mr. Nelson is quiet and reserved. He is a hard worker, a public- 
spirited citizen, and a hospitable neighbor, and has made many 
friends since settling in California. 


.The discovery of gold in California brought to the Coast 
many of the most capable young men of the East, and gave to 
our commonwealth its first impetus towards permanent pros- 
l^erity. Of all those who came across the plains, perhaps none 
possessed greater energy or keener powers of discrimination 
than did John Boggs. From whatever standpoint his character 
may be considered — as farmer, stock-raiser, landowner, state 
official, citizen, or friend — it presents the elements of true man- 
hood, so that those within the sphere of his influence counted it 
a rare privilege to be numbered among his friends. 

Descended from a prominent Southern family, John Boggs 
was born at Potosi, Mo., July 2, 1829, a son of Robert W. and 
Abigail (Carr) Boggs, natives of Virginia and Kentucky re- 
spectively. At the completion of his common school education 
in Howard County, he was sent to the college at Fayette. When 
he was twenty, he joined a party of gold-seekers bound for the 
West. After innumerable hardships the party arrived at Weber 
Creek, from which point Mr. Boggs made his way to Sacramento, 
where he was engaged as a chainman in the first survey of that 
city. He bought some land on Cache Creek, and began trading 
for broken-down horses and mules used by emigrants in crossing 


the plains. Almost without exception they were anxious to ex- 
change their stock for provisions and other necessities; and as a 
consequence he had, at the end of a year, some four hundred 
head grazing on his ranch. Though they cost him only a few 
dollars each, at the end of the year he sold them for two hundred 
dollars per head. 

In 1854 Mr. Boggs came to Colusa County and bought six 
thousand acres of the Larkin grant, and later bought other 
tracts, which he held for a rise in values. In 1868 he embarked 
in the sheep business. This proved profitable, as there was a 
ready market for wool and mutton. A few miles from Princeton 
stood his country home, one of the finest homesteads in the state 
at the time. In recent years, the laud has been divided into 
small tracts and sold. 

The public career of Mr. Boggs began in 1859, when he be- 
came a member of the first county board of supervisors. In this 
capacity he served until 1866, and by his intelligent labors aided' 
in giving system to the management of the aflfairs of the county. 
One important improvement made during his period of service 
was the erection of the courthouse. In 1866 be was elected to 
the state senate, and in 1870 he was reelected. In 1877 he was 
again returned to the upper house, as also in 1883, and once 
more in 1898. He was a member of that body at the time of his 
death. Senator Boggs was a stanch Democrat, and wielded a 
strong influence in the party deliberations. He served as a 
member of various conventions, county and state, and from 1871 
until his death he was a member of the Democratic State Central 
Committee. He made a losing fight against county division. 
When the new maps came out, it was found that the county line 
was placed so that the barn on the Boggs estate was in Glenn 
Count}' and the balance in Colusa County; and it was only after 
assiduous effort that the senator was able to have the line set 
beyond the end of his barn. At the Palace Hotel in San Fran- 
cisco, on January 30, 1899, Senator John Boggs passed away. 
When the news of his passing flashed over the wires, there was 
a universal feeling of sorrow in the state; and the press of the 
state was unanimous in its verdict concerning the high quality 
of his statesmanship. 

In 1870 John Boggs was united in marriage with Miss Lou 
Shackleford, of Georgia. Three children were born of this union : 
Frank, Frederick and Alice. Senator Boggs was for years con- 
nected with the State Agricultural Society as director and presi- 
dent. Until his death he was a member of the board of trustees 
of Stanford University; and at one time he was a regent of the 
University of California. From 1876 to 1880 he was a director 


of the Napa State Asylum. In 1885 he was appointed penology 
commissioner, and about the same time he held the office of state 
prison director. At one time he was on the board of commission- 
ers of Yosemite Valley. He was one of the organizers of the 
Colusa County Bank, and served as a director till his death. He 
took a prominent part in the organization of the Bank of Wil- 
lows, and was one of the directors ; and he was also a director in 
the Bank of Haywards. 


A descendant of an old pioneer family of California, and 
a native of Orland, Glenn County, John C. Hamilton is carrying 
on the development work started by his father in this district 
in the early sixties. Born on the home ranch, near Orland, March 
10, 1874, he is a son of John C. and Cordelia (Springtun) 
Hamilton. The father was a native of Missouri; and the mother 
was born in Texas. Their living children are John C. ; James L., 
of Red Bluff ; and Mrs. L. M. Walters, of Berkeley. The father 
crossed the plains to California by ox team, in 1859. Going to the 
mines, he worked there for two years, after which he came to 
Colusa County and worked on ranches for a time. His object, 
however, was to own a ranch of his own; and accordingly he 
homesteaded one hundred sixty acres of land five miles east of 
Orland, later adding to his holdings until he owned three thou- 
sand acres. He became one of the large grain-raisers of early 
days in the state, when California was the leading state in the 
Union in the iiroduction of grain. In 1884, he settled in Red 
Bluff, where his death occurred on December 5, 1907. He had 
retired from active imrsuits in the latter years of his life. Soon 
after her husband's death, Mrs. Hamilton removed to Berkeley, 
where she now makes her home. 

John C. Hamilton attended school in Orland, and afterwards 
moved with his parents to Red Blutf , where he finished his school- 
ing and became assistant in the post office, for three years, under 
Postmaster H. W. Brown. In the fall of 1900 he returned to the 
home' ranch in Orland, and has since made this his home, taking 
an active part in the uplniilding of the district, which has made 
and is making such wonderful progress along agricultural lines. 

Mr. Hamilton is bringing his property to a high state of 
development, being decidedly a man of progress, with breadth of 
mind to grasp new ideas and methods of cultivation. He farmed 
the greater part of three thousand acres, on the old home jilace 
and land near by. His home ranch comprises two hundred thirty 


acres which he cultivates to grain. lu 1917, he set out eighty 
acres to almonds; and he purposes gradually to increase the 
acreage devoted to this branch of horticulture. He has ])ut the 
land under a private irrigation plant, with cement pipes through 
the orchard, which lies east of the home ranch proper ; and in 
other respects also he is using strictly modern methods in his 
horticultural work. The holdings of the family in Glenn County 
now comprise some eleven hundred acres. 

Being a native sou of Orland, Mr. Hamilton has watched 
its growth with a keen interest. He has given his support and 
active cooperation to all undertakings for the advancement and 
development of his town and county; and personally he exerts 
that forceful influence found only in men who have become 
known for integrity and ability. He was one of the men who 
financed the Orland College; and he has always been a friend of 

The marriage of Mr. Hamilton was celelirated in 1906, when 
he was united with Haddassah Cleek, also a native of the valley, 
born in Colusa County. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of 
Orland Lodge, No. 265, F. & A. M.; Chico Chapter, No. 42, R. A. 
M.; and Chico Commandery, No. 12, K. T. With Mrs. Hamil- 
ton, he belongs to Citrus Chapter, No. 208, 0. E. S., of Orland. 


A native of Nova Scotia, John Annand was born on June 6, 
1844, a son of David and Margaret (Taylor) Annand, large 
farmers in that country. He spent the first twenty-two years of 
his life near Halifax, where he received his education and learned 
the trade of the blacksmith. He then came to the States and spent 
two years in the mining districts of Nevada, after which, in the 
late sixties, he came on to California and located at Butte City, 
now in Glenn Count}'. Here he found employment at his trade 
with Elijah McDaniel, three miles south of that village, where, 
on June 5, 1871, he married Izilla McDaniel, a daughter of his 

Soon Mr. Annand was able to buy land ; and his first inirchase 
comprised iive hundred sixty acres five miles south of- Butte City. 
Here he developed a good ranch, which he carried on until he was 
called by death in 1908. His widow still owns the old home place, 
and is living in the enjoyment of modern conveniences, surrounded 
bv her familv and friends. 


Mr. Annand was a devout Christian and a prominent member 
of the Methodist Church, South. As superintendent of the Sunday 
school he exercised an elevating influence upon the young, in 
whose welfare he took a dee^D interest. He was actively interested 
in education, and served on the board of trustees of his school dis- 
trict. He and his wife had four children: Mrs. George Kirkpat- 
rick, of Colusa ; Elmer A., on the home place ; Emma, Mrs. Hugh 
M. Garnett, of Willows ; and Earl, superintendent of the Hugh M. 
Garnett ranch near "Willows. 


(By the late John P. Irish) 

The debt of California to her American pioneers grows in 
appreciation as they pass away. In the first group, composed of 
those immortal in grateful memory, a stalwart figure is Will S. 
Green. He was of pioneer lineage. His ancestors were on the 
Virginia frontier. His parents settled in Kentucky when the land 
had the A-irgin beauty that attracted Daniel Boone to its conquest. 
There he was born, December 26, 1832. Financial reverses befell 
his father while Wifrwas a child. This deprived him of any edu- 
cation under teachers, except a brief attendance at an " Old Field 
School"; and while a boy he assumed the burden of self-support 
and the helping of others. It is said of him that such was his 
energy that, though a boy, he commanded the -wages of a man. 
While he worked he studied. To him may be applied the wise 
characterization of the late President McKinley by John Hay: 
"He belonged to a generation of boys who knew no want their 
own labor could not satisfy, and who knew no superior and no in- 
ferior. ' ' Those were the qualities of a pioneer generation. 

Working and seeking knowledge, he felt the frontier impulse 
and, following the call of his pioneer lineage, landed in California 
in 1849, before he was seventeen. His mental and manual self- 
training and his steady industry had prepared him to put hand 
and head into any honest work. He ran the first steam ferry over 
the straits of Carquinez, took the second mail contract let in the 
state, and carried all the mail for Napa and Sonoma Counties in 
his pocket. In July, 1850, he left his mail route and ferry and 
piloted the new steamer Colusa up the Sacramento River to the 
present town of Colusa. He landed in Colusa on July 6, 1850, and 
there he was buried just fifty-five years later. For five years more 
than a half century he was a citizen of that town, of which he first 
saw the site from the pilot house of the pioneer steamer. He left 


^2aj-u^ f. 


CJC^^^^^<^ c^i^ 



amougst his writings a description of that voyage up the Sacra- 
mento that is a classic. There came to him then a clear conception 
of the capacity of that valley to snpport a dense population 
through agriculture. He caught a vision of a future wrought by 
man upon those fertile phiins that equaled the prophet's vision of 
the promised land, full of corn and wine and oil, and flowing with 
milk and honey. While yet camping on the bank of the river, he 
began preparing for his part in the history to be. Already self- 
cultured to a degree of which many a college graduate would be 
proud, he took up the study of civil engineering and fully equipped 
himself for that profession. Perhaps no man in our company of 
pioneer worthies had as little waste knowledge as he. Whatever 
he applied himself to he thoroughly learned, and whatever he 
learned was useful to the end of his long life. His service as cap- 
tain of the Carquinez ferry boat, Lucy Long, gave him the pilot's 
knowledge of the surface indications of channel and shoal water 
that served him in steering the pioneer steamer Colusa in waters 
strange to him and all her crew. His reading of the best books in 
literature and science gave his style as a writer a grace, directness 
and individuality, and a homely philosophy, such as Ben Franklin 
had; and his knowledge of civil engineering made him the first, 
and to the end the greatest, professional authority in the state on 
the prolilems of irrigation and drainage. 

A half century ago the physical characteristics of California 
were but little known. Some of them are still the despair of the 
climatologists. But, early in his experience in the Sacramento 
Valley, Mr. Green saw that to reach their highest potency there 
must be a drainage of the rich bottom lands, for protection against 
floods, and irrigation of the rich plains for protection against the 
normal drought of the dry season. He knew land, and he loved it. 
He was California's first apostle of agTieulture, and land was the 
text of all his epistles. As an engineer, he surveyed the land. As 
a legislator, he drew the land code of the state. As surveyor gen- 
eral of the LTnited States, he protected the public domain for the 
settlers who would till it. As treasurer of the state, be conserved 
and economized the taxes paid by the owners of the land. As the 
foremost editorial writer of the state, he considered the land as 
the first material object of Inniian iiitorcst. He developed the first 
plans for irrigation and di'iiiiia.ui' nf the Sacramento Valley; and 
though high-salarieil eiigiiiccrs have wiought upon the same prob- 
lem, his plans stand unimpeached. 

The foregoing is a me're circumference of his work. The vast- 
ness of the great circle, and the infinite detail included, may be 
conceived when it is known that he came to be the final authority 
upon more things of vital concern to the state than any other man 


iu California. In such a position he had to antagonize the opin- 
ions of others. He often had to cliampion the many against the 
few. He had to rebuke waste and ignorance, tliriftlessness and in- 
temijerance. But so great was his spirit, and so full of i)ity and 
charity, that his very relmkes made friends of those who received 
them, and his antagonists were amongst his most ardent admirers. 
As his life drew to its close, and the horizon no longer receded as 
he approached it, his activities were greater than ever. In a high 
sense he incorporated his views of the necessities of the Sacra- 
mento Valley in organizing the Sacramento ^"alley Development 
Association, of which he held the presidency until his death. In 
that capacity was found his last public activity, in escorting the 
Congressional committees on irrigation through the state. At the 
close of the tour and the final meeting at the banquet at Eed Bluff, 
he was introduced by Judge Ellson as "the Patriarch of Irriga- 
tion in the Sacramento Valley." He rose with the splendors of 
that valley of light Ijefore him, i)ut upon him was the somber tone 
of the Valley of Shadows. Speaking briefly he said: "It is our 
business to develop the Sacramento Valley, and in behalf of the 
Association I wish to say that we will do this. I have a valuable 
history of irrigation work since I have been in the great valley, 
and the value of that work is incalculable ; I recognize its full force 
when I hear these jaeople sp.eak of the vastness of the preparation 
and the money they are spending in preparing their plans for this 
work for the United States government. I undertook to do it all 
individually, and to demonstrate what could be done. Doing my 
own engineering and paying my own expenses, I located the pres- 
ent Central Canal and prophesied this work, and now I find that 
the United States will take years to go ahead, and feel how small 
have been my efforts. But, gentlemen, my only hope, as I am on 
the decline of life, is that some day I may stand on Pisgah and 
see a Promised Land for God's joeople in this valley. Then I will 
be ready to die." 

The fact was, that, in every essential, in outline and in detail, 
in its hydrography, agriculture, proper division of laudholdiugs, 
transportation and economics, he had worked out the whole prob- 
lem to a solution ; and those who follow will use his work or redis- 
cover what was to him an open book of principles. That was his 
last public utterance, and -the contrasts of the occasion gave the 
full measure of his work. His footsteps had plodded over the 
whole field, and then came the government, paying tens of thou- 
sands only to follow him. 

In his life he was singularly pure, as to speech, thought and 
practice. But it was all without ostentation. He never abated his 
view of principles to please friend or foe. Yet in discussion he 


seemed rather an eager listener than a teacher, and by rare art 
taught others by asking them to teach him. On his social side* he 
was thoroughly lovable. As an editor he made his paper, The 
Colusa Sun, the leading rural organ of the state. A collection of 
his editorial writings, in essay form, would make a volume of per- 
manent literature for the library. He was the last of the great 
group of pioneers who sought to build a state not on the vanishing 
mining industry, with its risk arid uncertainty, but upon the im- 
perishable land and the unlu-oken promise of seed time and har- 
vest ; and of that group he was the leader. He took his name and 
blood pure and untarnished as his only heritage, and with a heart 
as pure as his lips, transmitted them to his children. 

Mr. Green was twice married. At his first marriage he was 
united with Miss Josephine Davis, by whom he had five children, 
who survive their parents. Some years after the death of their 
mother, he married Miss Sallie Morgan, of Mississippi, a faithful 
helpmate and affectionate companion, who also survives him. 


One of the representative women of the Sacramento Valley, 
Mrs. Sallie B. Green, owner and editor of The Colusa Sun, has 
been identified with Colusa for many years. She was born in 
Clinton, Hinds County, Miss., a daughter of Dr. Jacob Bedinger 
Morgan, owner of a plantation ten miles northwest of Jackson. 
Her mother was Minerva (Fitz) Morgan, a daughter of Gideon 
Fitz, at one time surveyor general of Mississippi, when it was a 
territory. Grandfather Fitz was born in Monticello, Va., and 
learned surveying under President Thomas Jefferson, then a sur- 
veyor, and later received his appointment from him. He died in 
Washington, Miss., and was buried at Jackson. Robert Williams, 
a great-grandfather on the maternal side, was governor of Mis- 
sissippi Territory. All of her forebears figured prominently in 
the early history of Virginia and Mississippi. Thomas Jefferson, 
President of the United States, was a warm friend of the Fitz 

Dr. Morgan was born in Virginia and, when a child of five, 
was taken to Kentucky by his jjarents. He was educated in the 
schools of Kentucky and at the Medical College of Lexington, Ky., 
from which he was graduated with the degree of M. D. He rode 
a horse all the way back to Clinton, Miss., from Lexington, and, 
settling there, became the leading physician of that section, the 
owner of a large plantation, and a man of considerable means 
and influence. Eight children were born to Dr. Morgan and his 


wife: Mary, who married Hunter H. Sonthworth, and lived and 
died in Mississippi; William Henry, a major, and later a colonel, 
of the 3rd Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War, who died 
in Mississippi in 1905; Fitz Robert, who was accidentally killed 
while hunting, at the age of thirteen; Thomas, who died at the age 
of three ; Sallie B., Mrs. Green ; Martha, who married W. G. Poin- 
dexter ; Lewis S., who was killed while in the 3rd Mississippi Cav- 
alry, at Collinsville, Tenn. ; and George, who died in Mississippi. 

Sallie B. Morgan was tutored by a governess, at home, and 
then attended a private school for girls, after which she went to a 
convent at Nazareth, Ky., and later was graduated from a young 
ladies' seminary at Nashville. Returning then to her home in 
Jackson, she there became a social favorite. She met Will S. 
Green, and in Salt Lake City, in 1891, was united in marriage with 
him, and since that time has resided in Colusa. . Mr. Green died 
on July 2, 1905. Mrs. Green never had any children of her own; 
but she reared the two youngest of Mr. Green's children by his 
first marriage, Rae, Mrs. Dr. J. J. Maloney of San Francisco, and 
Donald R., now in the office of the state surveyor general at Sacra- 
mento, who were fifteen and thirteen years old respectively at the 
time of her marriage. 

Mrs. Green is eligible to membership in the Daughters of the 
Revolution. She is a Daughter of the Confederacy, and organized 
and was president of the Confederate Monument Association, 
which after five years succeeded in raising the funds for building 
the monument that now stands in the old capitol yard at Jackson, 
Miss., to commemorate the Confederate dead; and her name is 
inscribed in the vestibule as president of the Association. She 
organized the Colusa Woman's Improvement Club, and was active 
in the organization of similar clubs in other cities in the valley, 
afterwards serving as president of the Federated AVoman's Clubs 
of the Sacramento Valley. 

Having traveled considerably over the United States, and 
even into Alaska, she had a desire to see some of the foreign coun- 
tries; and on December 1, 1908, she started on a trip around the 
world, leaving San Francisco on the steamship Mongolia. Cross- 
ing the Pacific, she visited Hawaii, Japan, China, and the Philip- 
pines, and from there sailed on through the Suez Canal into 
Egypt, and on to Italy, at a time when Mt. Vesuvius was active, 
and saw that wonderful volcano in action. After visiting France 
and England, she came on to New York, reaching home in Decem- 
ber, 1909, without having had an accident. She was more im- 
]n-essed than ever with the greatness, grandeur, and beauty of her 
native land, having seen nothing in her whole trip to equal her 
own beloved country. From various places en route she sent a 


series of letters giving a description of her travels, and of places 
visited, which apjieared from time to time in The Colusa Sun, and 
which received favorable comment. 

Mrs. Green is to be found at her desk every day, guiding tlie 
destinies of The Colusa Sun and wielding a strong influence for 
the public good. She is active and progressive, and is looked upon 
as one of the upbuilders of Colusa, where she is held in high 
esteem. She is a member of the Methodist Church in Colusa. 


This Colusa County pioneer was born in Roane County, 
Tenn., July 4, 1820, a son of Daniel McDaniel, captain of a com- 
pany in the United States army, who served under General Jack- 
sou during the war with the Creek Indians. After the war. Cap- 
tain McDaniel married Mary Ann Buchanan and settled in East 
Tennessee, remaining there until 1834, when he moved with his 
family to Illinois. 

Elijah McDaniel remained with his father on the farm until 
his marriage in January, 1842, when he was united with Sarah 
Ann Gore. The young people then went to Wayne County, 111., 
where they remained six years, operating a farm. During this 
time two sons and two daughters were born to them. In 1848 he 
moved into Schuyler County, the same state, where he rented land 
and farmed until 1852. He was then seized with the "California 
fever" and began making preparations for an early start the fol- 
lowing spring. With iive children, his wife, and such effects as 
would likely be needed for the long trip across the plains, he be- 
gan the journey in an ox wagon, in 1853. Crossing the Mississippi 
River at Warsaw, they made their way across Iowa through 
storms of snow and sleet, and arrived at Council Bluffs in good 
spirits, on the last day of March. Hearing that there was no grass 
on the plains, they went into camp until it was grown sufficiently 
to furnish feed for their stock. As their journey continued, they 
fell in with California-bound travelers until their party numbered 
eighteen men. A captain was elected by the party, George Gar- 
ratt, one of their number, being chosen for this important position. 
The weather continued bad as they passed up the Platte River, the 
stock began to give out, and dissatisfaction was expressed with the 
captain. At Pacific Springs, Mr. McDaniel and James Teal, with 
their outfits, left the main train and struck out alone. Things 
went better after that, and they finished the trip, although under 
very trying conditions. On the fourth of August they crossed the 
summit of the Sierras and entered the Golden State. 


In Amerieau Valley Mr. McDaniel stopped for twenty days 
and worked with his team, earning one hundred dollars. Here he 
fell in with Mayberry Davis, Alexander Cooley and a man named 
Painter, who told him of the Sacramento Valley and induced him 
to come here; and September 1, 1853, they arrived at Painter's 
landing. He went to work on a threshing machine ; but not being 
used to the climate, he contracted chills and fever and was unable 
to do any further work that fall. Just above the landing Mr. Mc- 
Daniel biult a log house, and there, on October 1, 1853, a daughter, 
Izilla, was born, the first white child born on the east side of the 
river. Mr. Painter went back on every proposition he had made, 
and Mr. McDaniel was forced to make other arrangements. He 
leased land from James McDougal, above what is now Butte City, 
put in one hundred acres of wheat, and got a good crop, but was 
obliged to sell his cattle, except a cow, in order to get money to 
harvest it. As the price of grain was only one and one half cents 
per pound and it was necessary to haul it to Marysville, thirty 
miles away, to have sold it would have left him in debt; so he 
hauled it to the Buttes and put it in a warehouse. The price of 
grain rose to three cents during the winter. He then sold it, re- 
ceiving enough to pay his debts and some fifty dollars besides. 

Having decided to take up a farm of his own, Mr. McDaniel 
selected a place just above Butte City, where he put in fifty acres 
of wheat. He got a good crop and received good prices, clearing 
one thousand dollars, which he invested in cattle. He continued to 
deal in cattle until 1862, when he disposed of part of his stock. In 
1864 he sold ot¥ the balance; and thereafter he devoted his atten- 
tion to grain-farming. In 1865 the crops were good throughout the 
state. Foreign demand sprang uj? for the wheat raised in Califor- 
nia, and every farmer began to enlarge his boundaries, Mr. Mc- 
Daniel along with the rest. He bought up many squatters' claims, 
until he held a large acreage. 

While Mr. McDaniel was living on the east side of the river, 
the territory there was a part of Butte County. Mr. McDaniel had 
a petition circulated, requesting that this section be incorporated 
in Colusa County. The petition was granted, and the territory on 
the east side was made a part of Colusa County. He served as 
county assessor two years, and as justice of the peace for sis 
years. On September 8, 1889, Mrs. McDaniel passed away. On 
July 3, 1891, Mr. McDaniel was married to Martha J. Anderson. 
Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Church, South. 
In 1874 he erected Marvin Chapel, in the cemetery, in which both 
himself and his first wife are buried. He died at his home on Jan- 
uary 9, 1898, at the age of seventy-seven. He was the father of 


ten cliildreu, of whom seven grew up, as follows : Henrietta, who 
married A. S. Furnell ; Mary Ann, who became the wife of William 
Luman ; Izilla, Mrs. John Annand ; and Isaac L., P. L., Henry E., 
and L. J. McDaniel. 


An early seeker after the precious metal, for which men 
have sought since the beginning of time, and one who remained 
in California after the first great excitement had subsided, and 
turned his attention to other pursuits, was the late John R. 
Tiffee. He was born in 1824, near Lexington, Ky. His early 
life was spent in Missouri, whither his people had migrated when 
that section was being developed. From that state he crossed 
the plains to California with ox teams in 1849; and on his 
arrival he went at once to the mines in Placer County, where he 
spent two years as a miner. His luck was very uncertain, how- 
ever, and he decided to look up some land and occupy his time 
with stock-raising and farming. He went to Sonoma County and 
found a suitable location near Petaluma, and there engaged in 

Seeing the need of a better grade of stock with which to build 
up a profitable herd in this country, he returned East by way of 
Panama and bought a band of thoroughbred roan shorthorn Dur- 
ham cattle, and drove them back across the plains in 1858. He 
arrived in what is now Glenn County, then embraced within the 
boundaries of Colusa County,- and settled on land west of what is 
now the town of Willows. Mr. Tiffee was the first man to bring 
into this county thoroughbred roan Durham stock. Having bought 
out the squatters in that part of the county, he entered upon 
extensive oi^erations as a stock-raiser. In time he became a well- 
known breeder of the best blooded stock in the Sacramento Valley ; 
and ranchers and stockmen came many miles to inspect his herds 
and to purchase. From this small beginning the improvement of 
the stock in the valley was very marked. He added to his hold- 
ings until he was owner of twenty-five hundred acres of land, upon 
which he erected a handsome rural home, set out a family orchard, 
and raised considerable grain. He later opened a general mer- 
chandise store on his ranch, this being the only store within a 
radius of twenty-five miles. He was honored with the office of 
justice of the peace, and held the esteem of a widely settled com- 
munity. He died in 1868, at the age of forty-four years. 

By his marriage in Sacramento, in 1850, with Mrs. Rebecca 
Terrill (Poage) Rowe, a native of Kentucky, Mr. Tiffee had three 


children, to each of whom he gave the liest educatioual advan- 
tages i30ssible. They were: Annie Rebecca, the wife of H. F. 
Coffman, of Trinity County; Theodora T., of whom mention is 
made elsewhere in this work; and John R. Tiffee, Jr., who died 
at the age of twelve years. 


The late Andrew Williams was born in England in 1828, and 
when six months old was brought with his family to the United 
States. At first they settled in Indiana, and there he was reared 
with his two brothers, James and John. In 1852, as one of the 
members of an ox-team train, young Williams set out to cross the 
plains to California ; and arriving here, he mined for a while in 
Rough and Ready Camp, Yuba County. The next year, however, 
he returned to Indiana to buy a herd of cattle. Having gathered 
his band, he drove them across the plains in 1854, selling them on 
his arrival in California. He then went to Colusa County and 
worked on the ran'.'hes near what is now Willows, being employed 
in particular on the Murdock and the John R. Tiffee farms. In 
1865, he again returned to Indiana ; and while there, a couple of 
years later, he married Miss Margaret Given, of Ireland. With 
his wife, he turned his face anew to California, there to remain. 
At tirst he farmed the Logan ranch, which he bought and owned. 
Later, he sold this to John Johansen, and took up a homestead on 
Stony Creek, where he farmed for a number of years. In the 
end he sold this farm also, and to the same purchaser, John 

When he came to Willows, Mr. Williams built a brick block on 
Walnut Street, in which for many years he conducted a first-class 
livery stable. This, too, he sold out, to permit his removal to the 
Stony Creek district. Later, he took up his residence at Elk 
Creek, where he managed a hotel, of which he was also proprietor. 
His death occurred on September 22, 1911. 

Among the children of Mr. Williams are Mrs. Susandrew 
Mayfield, of Richmond, Cal. ; Dennis G. Williams, of Willows ; Mrs. 
Mabel O'Brien, of Patton Apartments, Willows; William J. 
Williams, of Willows; and Harry M. Williams, of Elk Creek. 
Mrs. O'Brien, the third child in order of birth, is an active mem- 
ber and a Past Noble Grand of the Rebekahs. She has one 
daughter, Mrs. Phelieta Scyoc, of Winslow, who is the mother of a 
daughter and a son. 




A pioneer farmer and stockman of the Sacramento Valley, 
especially of Colusa and Glenn Counties, the late Hugh A. Logan 
held rank as one of the successful and prosperous ranchers of 
Northern California. He located on a ranch in the foothills in the 
vicinity of Norman, where he improved a fine place and lived in 
comfort during the latter years of his life. He made a specialty 
of raising sheep, and was one of the up-to-date men of the state 
in that industry. He had modern equipment, pens, bath, and 
shearing apparatus, as well as a circular bath for dipping the 
animals. He gave to this enterprise the same careful considera- 
tion that would be necessary for successful competition in the 
commercial world. He was one of the upbuiklers of this section, 
and was identified with the early history of Glenn County. 

Mr. Logan was Ijorn in Montgomery Countj', Mo., September 
6, 1830, a son of Henry and Sallie (Quick) Logan. Henry Logan 
was a Kentuckian, a son of Hugh Logan, who emigrated from Ire- 
land to the United States and settled in Kentucky, where he 
passed the remainder of his life as a farmer. -He was a soldier 
in the War of 1812, thus demonstrating his loyalty to the country 
of his adoption. Henry Logan went to Missouri with Daniel 
Boone, locating in Montgomery County, where he was engaged in 
farming and as a tanner until 1870. He then started for Califor- 
nia on the transcontinental train, his death occurring en route. 
Mrs. Sallie Quick Logan was likewise a native of the Blue Grass" 
State. She died in Missouri, leaving a family of seven children, 
of whom Hugh was the fifth in order of birth. He was able to 
get but a limited education in the schools of that period ; moreover, 
he worked on his father's farm from early boyhood. In March, 
1854, when in his twenty-fourth year, he started for California, 
crossing the plains with ox teams. They left St. Joseph on April 1 
and arrived at Deer Park six months later. They were successful 
in bringing a bunch of cattle from his native state through to the 
Coast. He later went to Sutter County and worked" with his 
brother Anderson in the dairy business six miles south of Yuba 
City. He remained in California until 1861, when he returned to 
Missouri ; and the following year he enlisted under General Price, 
serving under him six months. 

In 186.3 Hugh Logan married and came again to this state, 
making the trip this time by way of Panama. In Colusa County 
he bought about a thousand acres of land, which formed a part of 
the A. D. Logan ranch on Logan Creek ; for he was in partnership 


at that time with his brotlier, A. D. Logan. They followed general 
farming and the raising of cattle until 1868, when Hugh A. Logan 
took up the property that remained his home for so many years. 
He also entered land, owning at one time about sixteen thousand 
acres, part of which was in Mendocino County. There were eight 
thousand acres in the home place near Norman, three thou- 
sand in a mountain ranch, and two thousand near the home place. 

Mr. Logan started in the. sheep business by the purchase of 
about five hundred head at seven dollars per head; and he in- 
creased his bands until he owned or handled a flock of about six 
thousand head. To add to his fortunes he raised large numbers 
of cattle and planted a large acreage to wheat and barley, having 
as high as four thousand acres planted to these cereals. He 
erected a comfortable home in 1880, and suitable outbuildings to 
protect his stock and implements. He witnessed many changes in 
the country, for when he first located in the valley there was no 
Glenn County and the post office was at Colusa. He lived to wit- 
ness the rapid advancement along agricultviral lines, and the 
dividing up of the large areas into small and productive farms. 

About 1904 Hugh Logan incorporated all of his holdings as 
the H. A. Logan Land and Stock Co., with himself as president, 
and his immediate family and J. S. Logan as the other stockhold- 
ers of the company. 

Mr. Logan was twice married. His first wife was Jane Hud- 
nell, a native of Missoiu'i, who died in California. Their only 
child, Samuel, died in infancy. His second marriage united him 
with Miss Sallie Ann Logan, a cousin, and a native of Missouri, 
where the marriage was celebrated in 1866. She was a daughter 
of Alexander and Elizabeth (Quick) Logan, pioneers of that state. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Logan had three children born to them : An- 
derson, Stephen, deceased, and Lee. The latter married Miss Vic- 
tor La Grande, a native daughter of Glenn County, born into the 
family of Edward and Elizabeth (Portier) La Grande, natives of 
Montreal, Canada, who became pioneers of Colusa County. Mr. 
and Mrs. Lee Logan have three children: Lee Verden, Elsie 
Marie, aijd Hugh Edward. 

Hugh Logan was a Mason, a memlier of Colusa Lodge. He 
was a member of Antelope Valley Grange, serving as Master five 
terms. He was a stanch advocate of the principles of Democracy, 
and served as a supervisor from his district in Glenn County one 
term. At the time of his death he was counted one of the best- 
known of the pioneers of Glenn County. He died in November, 
1906, mourned by a large concourse of friends from far and near. 
After his death, the large farming and stock-raising operations 
of the company were continued under the following officers : Mrs. 


Hugh A. Logau, president; Lee Logan, vice-president; Mrs. Lee 
Logan, secretary, and J. S. Logan, treasurer. The same persons 
also made up the directorate. Mrs. Logan died on July 8, 1917, 
and was buried beside her husband in the family plot, in the ceme- 
tery at Colusa. 


Born in Mason County, Ky., May 24, 1815, Cleaton Grimes 
was the oldest of five children in the family of Henry and Nancy 
(Bane) Grimes, and the last to pass over the great divide. He 
was descended from Irish ancestors, and was reared and edu- 
cated in his native state, attending the subscription schools and 
Maysville Academy, where General Grant is said to have acquired 
the rudiments of his education. Young Grimes learned the trade 
of the tanner and currier, working at that calling in Aberdeen, 
Ohio, where his father had bought a tannery. He later worked 
at Georgetown for Jesse L. Grant, father of General Grant. 
At Concord, Ky., Mr. Grimes ran a tannery of his own, which he 
later traded for a store at Vanceburg, in the same state. While 
living there, he married Martha Stevenson, who died in Kentucky, 
as did three of their children. 

In 1849 Mr. Grimes sold out his interests in Kentucky and 
set out for California. He traveled by boat to St. Joseph, 
Mo., where he was fortunate in the purchase of an outfit from 
a man from Ohio, who was traveling with an emigrant com- 
pany, but had grown impatient and wished to return home. In 
this way Mr. Grimes was able to accompany the party to Cali- 
fornia. His outfit consisted of a mule team and a wagon, into 
which was loaded the necessary supplies. After an uneventful 
journey, the party arrived at their destination over the Fremont 
trail. Mr. Grimes went to Dry Creek, and there began mining 
in association with a mining company; but later they moved to 
Oregon Caiion above Georgetown. In the spring of the follow- 
ing year they located on the north branch of American River; 
and he also was interested in the first claim taken up on the 
Middle Fork of that river. As it was late in the season, how- 
ever, they did not remain to develop this claim. Mr. Grimes and 
Captain Daniels went to Sacramento, bought a barge, and en- 
gaged in transporting timljer to Marysville. This boat was 
operated by three hands, and was pulled and poled to Marys- 
ville, proving a good investment. In 1851-1852 they loaded their 
boat with general merchandise and went as far up the Sacra- 
mento River as Stony Creek. Here Mr. Grimes secured a team 


and hauled the goods to Shasta, where they were sold, the boat 
dropping back to Sacramento. In March, 1852, he went to Grand 
Island, Colusa County, and engaged in cutting hay with a scythe. 
This was hauled to Colusa and sold for fifty dollars a ton. That 
same year he took up a thousand acres of what he supposed 
was government land, but which later proved to be a grant. 
After several years of litigation, he purchased the thousand 
acres. He stocked his ranch, established Grimes Ferry, and 
opened a wood yard at Grimes Landing. With these interests, 
Mr. Grimes rose to a position of importance in the county. He 
began with five head of sheep, and in time had some four thou- 
sand head, which he sold. At the same time he carried on grain 
farming, the rich lands along the river yielding bountiful har- 
vests. In 1852 he established his home here, building a two-room 
house. Deeply interested in the place, where he had laid the 
foundation for a town, Mr. Grimes gave his best efforts towards 
inducing settlers to locate here. He was interested in the Grange 
movement, whose promoters established a store and warehouse 
on land he donated ; and he also started the first livery stable in 
the town. Up to the time when he was nearing his ninetieth mile- 
stone, he was active in the management of his interests. He 
sold otf all of his property but a quarter section, which he re- 
tained as a home. In the early days of his settlement in the state, 
his table was supplied with fresh meat brought down by his 
rifle ; for elk, deer, bears and other wild animals then abounded. 

In Sacramento, on September 28, 1869, Mr. Grimes was 
united in marriage with Mrs. Ann E. (Tait) Rollins, born near 
Richmond, Va., a daughter of Alexander Tait, who crossed the 
plains to California in 1865. During this trip his wife, Elizabeth 
Lockhart Tait, died. The first marriage of' Ann E. Tait united 
her with Alfred Rollins, by whom she had four children. Mr. 
Grimes was a member of the first board of supervisors of Colusa 
County, and gave valuable aid in the deliberations of that body. 
Politically, he was a Democrat. He was enterprising and influen- 
tial, and lived to a ripe old age, passing away on January 19, 1913. 


The only son of Levi Jefferson McDaniel, J. E. McDaniel was 
born on his father's ranch, October 25, 1884. He attended the 
grammar school at Butte City, and finished his education at the 
high school at Willows. After the death of his father, he took 
charge of the home ranch and continued in its management until 

c//^/c£//c4' ^^^-4^^^ 


1909, when the place was sold to the Carson colony, and was di- 
vided into small tracts. Mr. McDaniel thereupon became associ- 
ated with H. B. Tnrman and J. C. Mitchell, in the cattle business ; 
and together they bought the Patrick O'Brien place of nine thou- 
sand acres, west of Willows. They incorporated the Turman- 
Mitchell Land & Title Co., which owns the land and cattle. Mr. 
McDaniel was made secretary and manager of the company, with 
a third interest in its holdings. This is the largest cattle company 
in Glenn County, and one of the largest in Northern California. 
It handles over five thousand cattle each year. The corporation 
also owns a cattle ranch at Lakeview, Lake County, Ore., which 
disposes of six thousand cattle annually. The ranch comprises 
seventeen thousand acres of deeded land in an open range country, 
devoted to the raising of cattle. 

At Willows, in 1908, J. E. McDaniel married Miss Edith M. 
Hannah, a native daughter of Glenn County, whose father, James 
Hannah, one of the earliest settlers of the county, once kept a pop- 
ular hotel at Willows. Two children, Gregg and Lemona, have 
blessed their union. Mr. McDaniel was made a Mason in Laurel 
Lodge, No. 245, F. & A. M., at Willows, and with his wife is a 
member of the Eastern Star. He is also a member of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Foresters; and nowhere are he and his charm- 
ing wife more welcome than in the councils and at the festivities 
of these organizations. 


It is always a pleasure to the historian to commemorate the 
life of a self-made man like Milton French. In this man's veins 
flowed the blood of a race of pioneers, and with it he inherited the 
adventurous spirit and sound principles that go to make up the 
successful life in a new country. He was born in Callaway County, 
Mo., January 23, 1833, the youngest child in a family of four sons 
and two daughters born in the home of John French, a native of 
Tennessee. John French lived through the pioneer days of Ten- 
nessee and trained his family in the simple, straightforward ways 
of those times, when conditions were such that sham and pretense 
found no following. His wife was a Miss Clark, born in Ken- 
tucky, the daughter of another pioneer family, for the Clarks 
dated back to the days of Daniel Boone and were among the early 

When Milton French was a year old, his mother died. After- 
wards his father married again ; and of that union three children 
were born, of whom Hugh French, of HoUister, Cal., is the only 


survivor. Eight years after the death of his first wife, John 
French passed away; and then came the lireaking up of the fam- 
ily. Here is a lesson for the boys of today who hang on to "dad" 
and never think they have had a square deal unless he has put 
them through college and set them up in business. Milton French, 
a boy twelve years old, homeless, without father or mother, but 
already feeling the desire for honorable success which later won 
for him a place among the wealthy and honored men of the state, 
hired out to a man for thirty dollars a year and his lioard. Two 
dollars and a half a month, young men, to do the hardest kind of 
work and plenty of it. Probably three months of schooling in the 
winter was all the boy got; but, to be sure, he was getting an edu- 
cation every day he lived, for Milton French was one of those who 
got their diploma from the "College of Hard Knocks." 

In 1850, at the age of seventeen, he was crossing the plains, 
bound for the mines of California. With him were two brothers, 
Marion Bryman and John. They mined at Forbestown, and later 
went to the mines on Trinity Eiver, meeting with a moderate de- 
gree of success. Beef sold as high as a dollar per pound in the 
mines. Only the long-horned, rangy Spanish cattle were to be 
had; and most of these were driven from the ranges south of Mon- 
terey County to the market at the mines in Northern California. 
Young French saw a big opportunity in the luxuriant pastures of 
the foothills, if they were stocked with the right kind of animals ; so 
in 1856 he returned to Missouri by way of Panama, and the fol- 
lowing year, 1857, found him driving a band of cattle across the 
plains to the Sacramento Valley in California. In January, 1858, 
after a short stay on the Sacramento Eiver, while his cattle recu- 
perated from their long drive, he took up a government claim of 
one hundred sixty acres in the foothills of Colusa County, as then 
organized, but now included within the boundaries of Glenn 
County. All about was open range; and he gradually increased 
his holdings until he was the owner of ten thousand acres of land 
in various parts of the county. He farmed thousands of acres to 
wheat in the level valleys, and on the uplands pastured his herds 
of cattle, together with droves of fine horses and mules, which he 
raised, and of which he made a specialty. He became one of the 
leading grain and stock men in the Sacramento Valley, and wealth 
flowed into the hands of the man who, as a lad of twelve, had 
worked for his board and thirty dollars a year. He erected a fine 
home in Willows, and took a leading part in many enterprises, in 
which he invested large sums of money. He was the owner of a 
large warehouse in Germantown, and was vice-president of the 
Bank of Willows, president of the Willows Water Works, and a 
director in and president of the Willows Warehouse Association. 


Mr. French took an active part in the formation of Glenn 
Connty when it was decided to divide Colusa County, and when 
the northern half, containing the great Glenn ranch, became Glemi 
County. The writer remembers driving across the Glenn ranch, in 
1885, and riding for hours beside the great piles of wheat, sacked 
and awaiting shipment. 

Mr. French never forgot his own hard times when he 
struggled for a start, and he gladly assisted more than one young 
man — yes, and some old ones too — on the road to success, helping 
them to help themselves. He liked to make money, not for its in- 
trinsic value, but for what it would enable him to do for those he 
loved, and for the furtherance of every worthy object. He was 
especially interested in all projects for the upbuilding of the 
county and state. He was just in his dealings, and rejoiced in the 
prosperity of others; and when, on November 10, 1916, at his 
ranch near A¥illows, Milton French passed to his "home in the 
Beyond," a man "full of years and of good report," the whole 
county mourned a good man gone. He was a man who never took 
an unfair advantage of any person, and never stooped to do any- 
thing that might be construed as dishonest; and while he aided 
many unfortunates, he rarely let his benefactions become known 
even to his family. No man has had more true friends than had 
Milton French, to mourn his loss. 

His wife, who sur\ives him, is carrying on the good work in 
which he was so interested. In maidenhood Mrs. French was Miss 
Elizabeth F. Williams, a native of Missoui'i and a daughter of 
Nathaniel P. and Sarah Jane (Rice) "Williams. Her parents were 
Kentuckians, who came to California in 1855, by way of the Isth- 
mus of Panama, with their two daughters, now Mrs. Milton 
French and Mrs. James Boyd, Sr., then aged two and a half years 
and six months respectively. Upon their arrival in this state they 
stopped for a time in Solano County, near Dixon. Later they 
moved to Yolo County, and thence back to Solano County, where 
Mr. Williams died at his home near Dixon, in 1898. His widow 
survived him and made her home with her daughter, Mrs. French, 
until 1910, when she also answered the final call. There were four 
more children born in this family after they settled in California; 
and of the six the following, are living: Mrs. Milton French, Mrs. 
James Boyd, Sr., Mrs. Barbara McCune Lillard, and Nathanial P. 

Mrs. French was reared and educated in California. On May 
14, 1871, she became the wife of Milton P^'reuch; and since that 
date she has been a resident of Glenn County. Three children 
were born to brighten the already happy home of Mr. and Mrs. 
French. Curry Milton, the only son, is a landowner in his own 


right, and is manager of the great rauclies and interests left by bis 
fatber. He married Miss Lnln Louise Jacoby. Rita is tbe wife of 
Judge Frank Moody, of Willows. Natalie is tbe widow of Eobevt 
E. L. Eagle, and makes her bome with her motber. Mrs. Frencb 
is an active member of the Baptist Church, which Mr. French also 
attended, and to which he was a liberal contributor, as be was like- 
wise to all other denominations, as well as to every worthy object 
that was brought to bis attention. 


Few men were more widely known or more highly honored 
than this California pioneer of 1850, who was tbe founder of tbe 
town in Colusa County that bears his name. W. H. Williams 
came to this section in 1853, and, possessing a keen foresight, made 
extensive investments in land when it was held at only a nominal 
price. He also began in tbe sheep business, which in time grew 
to large proportions, and which was admirably adapted to bring 
prosperity to its followers during the early period of California 
history. Laying the foundation of bis fortune by industry and 
intelligent application, he enjoyed an increasing success and 
accumulated sufficient means to enable him to retire, and to give 
him a recognized standing among the successful and wealthy 
men of tbe Sacramento Valley. 

Especial interest attaches to the life history of one so suc- 
cessful and so prominent in tbe annals of bis county. Genealogy 
shows that tbe progenitor of the family in America was Rolsert 
Williams of Wales, who established his home on a jilantation in 
Maryland. A son and namesake of tbe original inunigrant, born 
and reared in Maryland, learned the trade of tbe shoemaker, and 
in 1828, together with bis family, and with his household goods 
packed in a wagon, crossed the Alleghany mountains into Ohio and 
settled in Pickaway County. Ten and one balf years later he took 
bis family to Illinois and settled in Vermont, Fulton County, 
where he died in 1853. He was married twice, and chose for his 
second wife Margaret McCallister. She was born in Maryland, 
and died in Ohio on February 2, 1848. Of their four sons and five 
daughters, W. H. AVilliams was the seventh in order of birth, and 
the only one to settle in California ; and he was the last of the 

AVilbam H. Williams was born in Cumberland, Md., April 7, 
1828. He was taken to Ohio when a babe in arms, and when 
eleven accompanied the family to Illinois, where he attended tbe 

-%^ , 

( ^^/ / l^f 



village school at Vermont. The schoolhoiise was Imilt of logs, with 
benches of slabs aud floor of puncheon; and the pens were made 
of quills. However, notwithstanding these handicaps and the 
irregular attendance necessitated on account of his being needed 
to help till the farm, Mr. "Williams acquired a good education. 
With a hopeful spirit, he endeavored, by self-culture, to make 
the most of his environments; and he became in time a well- 
informed man. He learned the shoemaker's trade with a brother 
during the winter months, and cared for the stock and raised corn 
in summer. When the news came of the discovery of gold in 
California, he dissolved his partnership with his brother and 
started out alone to make his way amid untried conditions. He 
left the old Illinois home on March 18, 1850, and with three com- 
panions started West in a wagon drawn by four yoke of oxen. 
They crossed the Mississippi River at Quincy, and the Missouri 
at St. Joseph; followed the ovei'land trail by way of Forts Kear- 
ney and Laramie; and proceeding up the Sweetwater and down 
the Humlioldt River, went thence by the Carson route into Cali- 
fornia, arriving at Placerville on August 1, after being on the 
road just ninety-six days. During their trip they made it a rule 
to rest Sundays. When their oxen gave out they left them and, 
having cooked enough provisions to carry them over the moun- 
tains, started to walk with their blankets and supplies, getting 
across in six days. 

Mr. Williams spent four months in mining, and only made 
seventy dollars; so he abandoned the work and went to Sacra- 
mento. Here he was engaged as a cook in a hotel at seventy-five 
dollars a month, and later became a clerk in a shoe store at one 
hundred dollars a month. His next move took him into Solano 
County, where, near Suisun, he was employed for a time in 
mowing hay with a scythe. He then hired out as a teamster, and 
later bought a team and engaged in freighting on his own account, 
clearing two hundred eight dollars per month. In the fall of 
1853 he sold the team, and, going to Sacramento, opened a board- 
ing house, which he conducted for six months, until the town was 
burned and drowned out. He next took up land in Spring Valley, 
and raised stock and farmed for one year, after which he began 
farming on the plains near the presenf site of the town of Wil- 
liams. When the land came into the market, in 1858, he bought a 
small place at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and to 
this he added from time to time until his possessions assumed 
large proportions. He bought fine blooded sheep from the East 
and made a specialty of raising luicks, being a pioneer in that 


Wlieu the railroad was prospected for the valley, Mr. Williams 
gave the right of way through his laud aud au interest in two 
hundred acres, which induced the company to establish a station 
at Central. When the town was laid out, it was named Williams 
in his honor; and ever since it has been an imi^ortant shipping- 
point. In 1874 Mr. Williams built a substantial brick building; 
in 1876 he erected the Williams Hotel; and in 1880 he put up a 
warehouse one hundred twenty-one by two Imndred feet in dimen- 
sions, so constructed that teams can drive through the building 
and unload, as well as from the west side. In tlie latter part of 
the seventies, with others, at a cost of fifty-six thousand dollars, 
he built the steamer Enterprise, and a barge, to run from Colusa 
to San Francisco. He owned two livery stables in the town, and 
nine thousand acres of land near by, and was interested in the 
steam flouring mill until it was destroyed by fire. Tlie Williams 
Foundry also received his attention and support ; and with others 
he built the Odd Fellows Hall. He was one of the charter mem- 
bers of the Odd Fellows Lodge. 

During the administration of President Lincoln, Mr. Williams 
was appointed postmaster of the old office at Central; and the 
office continued to be in his house until the railroad was built. 
After the organization of the Republican party, he was a stanch 
supporter of its men and measures, and frequently was a delegate 
to state and county conventions. Though not a member of any 
church, all the churches received his financial support. 

Of the first marriage of Mr. Williams three children were 
born, as follows: Mrs. Harriett May Moody; Lulu, wife of S. H. 
Callen; and Ella, Mrs. H. W. Manor— all of this locality. His 
second marriage united him with Mary E. McEvoy, a native of 
Dublin, Ireland, and daughter of Thomas and Anna (Horace) 
McEvoy. She came to California in 1877, and in 1880 was mar- 
ried to Mr. Williams. Her deepest bereavement until her devoted 
liusband passed away on May 15, 1909, was the death of four 
of her children: Iris Cecelia and Inez Vashti (twins), Carmelita 
Lucile, and William H., Jr. Two are still living: Belle, Mrs. 
Stanley Moore, of Oakland; and Maurguerita, Mrs. R. L. Welch, 
of Colusa. 

Personally, Mr. Williams was a large, stalwart, handsome 
gentleman of genial, companionable disposition, with a jovial 
temperament that enabled him to see the bright side even of life's 
shadows, and that won him the friendship of acquaintances. When 
he died, the whole county mourned. In the annals of Colusa 
County, his name is worthy of perpetuation, for the emulation of 
the future generations who shall live and labor here. 



How a town, of sturdy, thriviug liurgiiers honored itself in 
electing as mayor its pioneer Ijlaeksmith, is shown in the story of 
Willows and its choice of Jefferson Davis Crane as presiding 
officer and chief executive. Jefferson D. Crane was born in 
Sonoma County, September 7, 1861. His father, who crossed the 
plains to California in 1849 in one of the conventional ox-team 
trains, was James E. Crane, a native of Kentucky; while his 
mother, whose maiden name was Lucy M. Beaver, was a native of 
Ohio and came to California in 1851. On his arrival in this state, 
James E. Crane went to the mines for a time. Later he farmed 
near Santa Rosa, and afterwards near Salinas, in Monterey 
County. In 1870 he came to Los Angeles County, in what is now 
known as Orange County. There he died, aged seventy-six years. 

Brought to Los Angeles County in his lioyhood, Jefferson 
D. Crane attended the public schools there, and then went to 
Bakersfield, where he learned the trade of the blacksmith. He 
blew the bellows and swung the hammers like the ablest of those at 
the forge ; and by 1880 he was ready to set up his shop in Bakers- 
field, where he continued as a smith for four years. He then 
moved to San Luis Obispo County, and for a year worked as a 
blacksmith there. In 1885 he arrived at Willows. Here be became 
associated with the Willows Foundry, with which he continued 
for some time. In 1895, he opened up a blacksmith's shop of his 
own, and this he conducted for three years. At the end of that 
time he took into partnership C. S. Schmidt, whereupon the firm 
became known as Crane &; Schmidt. Ever since, Mr. Crane has 
had a hand in the manufacture of nearly all the iron and steel 
work done in Willows. 

In 1887, Jefferson Davis Crane was married to Miss Kate 
Somers, a native of Placer County, and the daughter of Charles 
R. Somers, a pioneer who came to California from Vermont, by 
way of the Isthmus, in 1854. Mr. Somers farmed on two ranches 
in Placer County, and in 1871 removed to Willows, where he 
bought a hundred sixty acres of land, on a part of which the 
southerly end of Willows now stands. While he farmed, he also 
conducted a draying business. For thirty-five years he hauled 
freight for Hochheimer & Co., in Willows. He died in 1908. His 
wife's maiden name was Mary E. Cameron. She was a native of 
Illinois, who crossed the plains in 1854 with an uncle. She saw 
Willows grow from a wilderness to a prosperous community, with 
a population of twenty-four hundred ; and she can remember when 


the antelope and wild cattle roamed over the plains. Mrs. Crane 
died in June, 1916, mourned by a large circle of friends, with 
whom she was a social favorite. She is survived by a daughter. 
Pearl C, Mrs. Terry McCaffrey, of McCloud, Cal., who is the 
mother of one daughter, Tyrel. 

Mr. Crane's public-spiritedness is finely displayed in his 
record of twenty-one years as clerk of the Willows school board, 
from which office he resigned in 1917; and in his sei'vice as town 
trustee, to which he was elected in 1910. For four years he filled 
the latter office; and from 1912 to 1914 he was chairman of the 
town board, and thus performed the duties of acting mayor. 
During this period the City Hall was built, sewers were laid, and 
the fire department was improved by the accession of a modern 
motor fire engine, the first combination pump and chemical engine 
on the coast. Mr. Crane is a member of the Odd Fellows, a 
Woodman of the World, an Elk, and a charter member of the 


A man who has risen from a subordinate position to that of 
an influential landowner, and who is actively identified with the 
agricultural interests of the county, is James Boyd, a native of 
County Down, born near Belfast, Ireland, February 28, 1849. His 
father was also named James, and was born at the same place. 
Here, also, Hugh Boyd, the grandfather, was a well-to-do farmer, 
a descendant of Scotch ancestors who fled from Scotland to the 
North of Ireland at the time of the persecution of the Covenant- 
ers. James Boyd, Sr., was also a farmer by occupation. He mar- 
ried Eliza Patton, of Scotch descent, a daughter of John Patton. 
She died at the age of forty-nine, in 1857, leaving eleven children, 
of whom James, Jr., was the fourth youngest. The father reared 
his family and lived to the age of eighty-four. 

James Boyd, of this review, was educated in the common 
schools of his native county and early learned the methods of 
farming as it was carried on there. He had heard good reports 
from California, and had made up his mind that he would prospect 
the country for himself; and accordingly he crossed the ocean to 
New York when he was nineteen, in 1868. He came on to Cali- 
fornia by way of Panama, arriving in San Francisco on board the 
steamship Sacramento in May of that year. He traveled on to 
Yolo County, and then to Colusa, where he worked in a livery 
stable for a month. He then came on to what is now Glenn 
County, and found employment on the Patrick O'Brien ranch for 




four years. Having made a little money, Mr. Boyd was willing to 
take a chance, and with a friend bought a flock of sheep in 1873, 
and drove them to Nevada, where he was engaged in the sheep 
business for one year, when he sold out and returned to Willows. 
He leased the Murdock ranch of nearly five thousand acres, and 
for nine years raised grain. Next he rented eight thousand acres 
of the Glide ranch, and continued the grain business for another 
similar period, becoming in time one of the largest grain raisers 
in this part of the Sacramento Valley. 

Having made considerable money, and also saved some, Mr. 
Boyd began to look about for land. He found and purchased a 
quarter section, to which he added four hundred eighty acres, and 
then twelve hundred acres ; and still later he Ijought an entire sec- 
tion. He now owns some twentj^-eight hundred acres three miles 
west from Willows. He erected a fine home and the usual barns 
and oiatbuildings, and now has one of the best ranches in Glenn 
County. On this place he has lived since 1899. Besides the home 
ranch he owns twelve hundred acres on the Sacramento River, 
near Butte City, the latter being rented, while the home ranch is 
devQted to grain-raising and is operated by Mr. Boyd and his two 
sons, who raise some fourteen hundred acres of grain on the place 
each year, using the latest models of machinerj^ and implements. 

In 1889, Mr. Boyd married Miss Clara M. Williams, of Dixon, 
Cal., a daughter of Nathanial P. and Sarah Jane (Rice) Williams. 
She was but three months old when her parents came to California 
by way of Panama. She is a niece of the late Hon. Henry E. Mc- 
Cune, i^rominent in public life in the state and for many years a 
resident of Solano County. Two children have been born of this 
marriage: James Boyd, Jr., who married Genevieve Nash and is 
the father of one son, James Boyd, third; and Carleton Williams 
Boyd, who married Miss Bruce Morgan, of Red Blutf , and is the 
father of a son, Carleton Wilcox. Both sons have had a col- 
lege education, and are well equipped for life's responsibilities. 

Mr. Boyd is prominent in financial affairs as a director of the 
Bank of Willows, and as a stockholder in the First National Bank 
of Willows, the Bank of Colusa, the Bank of Princeton, and the 
Willows Warehouse Association. He served as supervisor of his 
district one term, being elected on the Democratic ticket. In fra- 
ternal circles he is a Mason, a member of Laurel Lodge No. 245, 
F. & A. M. ; the Colusa Chapter and Commandery; and Islam 
Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S., of San Francisco. 

Mr. Boyd is a man of commanding appearance, six feet, six 
and one quarter inches in height, a giant in stature; and in the 
early days there were few men that surpassed him in strength and 
activity. With all his vitality, energy and ambition, it is no won- 


der that he was able to win success and accomplish the results that 
have characterized his career. He landed in this state with only 
about one hundred dollars ; but it did not take him long to see the 
opportunities offered by this fertile country. Capitalizing his nat- 
ural inheritance of thrift and foresight from his Scotch ancestry, 
he began investing in lands when they were cheap ; and being ben- 
etited by the rise in values, he has been enabled to live in comfort 
in his latter years. Both he and his wife have endeared them- 
selves to their friends, who are legion. They are public-spirited, 
and are willing at all times to -assist- those less fortunate than 


Born and educated in the Old World, Harrison D. DeGaa 
came to America, as a young man, well equipped to take advan- 
tage of the opportunities which the New World afforded, to forge 
rapidly ahead in business, and to render valuable service in the 
building up and developing of the communities in which he has 
lived. Harrison DeGaa was born in Paris, France, May 6, 1843. 
His parents were Joseph J. and Katherin (Wimmer) DeGaa, the 
former of French birth, and the latter a member of a prominent 
German family of the city of Karlsruhe. They were married in 
1838, and in the following year came to America, settling in Ohio. 
In 1848, the year of the German Rebellion, they returned to Ger- 
many on a visit, and Mr. DeGaa took part in the Rebellion. He 
became an officer, holding a commission as Colonel, and in com- 
pany with Carl Schurz, General Siegel and others, had to flee the 
country. Later he was arrested by the German government and 
tried for treason ; but in the meantime he had become an American 
citizen, and through the intervention of the home government 
gained his freedom. 

Harrison D. DeGaa began his education in the schools of 
France, attending there until the age of twelve, when he was sent 
to Baden-Baden, Germany. At the age of sixteen he entered the 
University of Heidelberg, from which he graduated in 1864. He 
at once left for America, where his parents had been residing dur- 
ing his attendance at school. 

After spending two years in the East and South, Mr. DeGaa 
came to California, making the journey by way of the Isthmus. 
He at first engaged in mining, but soon left that occupation and 
took up the printer's trade, some knowledge of which he had 
obtained at school. He has since followed this business in its 
various branches, until at the present time he is the editor and 


proprietor of the Glenn Transcrijjt, published at Willows, Cal., 
and established in 1902. 

At North San Juan, Nevada County, Mr. DeGaa was united 
in marriage, on November 24. 1889, with Miss Anna G. Smith, a 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Golden Smith. Their four 
children are Joseph Darrough, Victor Golden, Hallet, and a 
married daughter, Mrs. W. J. Canfield. 

Ever since coming to California Mr. DeGaa has been promi- 
nently identified with its growth and iMoinotion. For the past 
quarter of a century he has held oflicc ;is i)icsident or secretary 
of chambers of commerce and kindred associations. He was the 
second president of the Glenn Club, and later became its fourth 
president. He is today its only honorary member. He is the 
president of the E. Clampus Vitus— an organization of boosters, 
with a membership of over four hundred. He has always been 
active in the Bepublican party, and has been intiuential in its 
coimcils. In religion he is an Episcopalian. 


A resident of California since 1870, and a woman of more 
than ordinary business ability, Mrs. Mary Newman has contrib- 
uted in no small degree to the upbuilding of the town of Willows. 
Mrs. Newman was born at Hull, Wright County, in the Province 
of Quebec, Canada. Her father, John Cook, was born in London, 
England, and came to Canada when a young man, where he 
married Georgianna Rule, who was born in Prince Edward Island. 
They became successful farmers at Hull, about seven miles from 
Ottawa, and resided there until their death. Of their eight chil- 
dren, five are living, Mrs. Newman being the eldest and the only 
one in California. Her childhood was spent on the home fai'm 
and in the pursuit of her studies in the subscription or private 
schools. About fifty years ago she was married at Aylmer, Can- 
ada, to John McCallum, who was born at Guleburn, Ontario, the 
son of Duncan and Ellen (Sloane) McCallum, natives of Scotland 
and the North of Ireland respectively. His parents migrated to 
Canada and were farmers at Guleburn. John McCallum followed 
farming, but later sold his outfit and engaged in the hotel busi- 
ness at North Wakefield. 

About 1870, Mr. and Mrs. McCallum came to California. 
After their arrival in this state, Mr. McCallum followed mining 
at Smartsville, Yuba County, until his death a few years later, 
which resulted from an attack of brain fever. Mrs. McCallum, 


left with a familj- of children, proved equal to the emergency, and 
immediately set about to make a living for the family, and rear 
and educate her children. She engaged in the hotel business 
at Smartsville, in which she met with success. While thus 
engaged, she was again married, to John Mee, a native of the 
North of Ireland, who followed mining at Smartsville. In 1882, 
the family moved to Willows, then but a small burg. Here she 
leased a large residence and ran it as a boarding house for five 
years. It was about one year after locating here that Mr. Mee 
passed away. At the end of five years, Mrs. Mee purchased a 
residence on Shasta Street; but after residing there from August 
until the following June, she again decided to engage in the hotel 
business and leased a hotel building on Tehama Street, which she 
named the Palace Hotel. Here she conducted a successful busi-- 
ness, giving such good service that the hotel became very popular. 

In February, 1894, Mrs. Mee was united in marriage with 
Charles Newman. Mr. Newman was born in Germany, and came 
to California when sixteen years of age. He learned the mer- 
chant's business, and became owner of a store at Eocklin, Cal. 
Later he sold out and came to Willows, where he was one of the 
pioneer merchants, and where he served as postmaster for several 
years. Mr. Newman built the Palace Hotel, the Newinan Building, 
and other buildings in Willows. After selling out his store here, 
he lived retired till his death, which occurred in December, 1913. 
Fraternally, Mr. Newman was a Mason. Previously to Mr. New- 
man's death, the" old Palace Hotel had been sold to Mrs. Newman's 
son, John 0. McCallum, who enlarged the hotel, of which he is still 

By her first marriage, to Mr. McCallum, Mrs. Newman had 
eight children: William J., deceased; Ellen, Mrs. Henning, of 
Willows; John Arthur, deceased in infancy; Georgianua, de- 
ceased; Christene, Mrs. W. D. Davis, of San Francisco; Duncan 
C, court stenographer at Oroville; John 0., proprietor of the 
Palace Hotel ; and George, who resides with his mother. By her 
marriage to Mr. Mee, she had one child, Frances, the wife of F. 
W. Sydell, D. D. S., of Chico. Mrs. Newman devotes her time to 
looking after her varied interests. She owns the Newman block, 
and other valuable business and residence property in Willows, as 
well as her residence at 158 Twenty-seventh Street, in San Fran- 
cisco. In 1915 she built the Tenney and Schmidt Garage, on the 
corner of Tehama and Wood Streets, the finest and largest garage 
in Willows. Mrs. Newman was reared in the Presbyterian 
Church, and still adheres to that faith. In national politics, she 
is a Republican. 

^^.yv. ^^rrvcTunM/yi). 



One of the most extensive grain farmers in Glenn County, a 
man of such established and recognized business ability, honesty 
and integrity that his advice was widely sought and generally fol- 
lowed, and whose spoken word was considered as good as his 
bond, was George W. Snowden, a native of Scott County, 111., 
where he was born near Naples, February 17, 1856. His father 
was John P. Snowden, a Virginian, who emigrated to the Middle 
West in early days, and became a successful farmer in Illinois. In 
1867, he moved still further west into Missouri, and there engaged 
in farming amid the fertile acres in Henry County. Still later 
he returned to Illinois and located in Macoupin County ; and there, 
in the fall of 1902, he died. George's mother had been Miss Sarah 
A. Mills, a native of Scott County ; and she became the mother of 
eleven children, seven of whom were girls. 

The second oldest of the four sons, George received a good 
education at the district schools in his native county, and early 
began to farm with his father in Henry County, Mo. In 1877, he 
came to California and located near Durham, Butte County, where 
he went to work on a farm. His vigorous constitution and his 
aptness in taking hold of the work, easily secured for him other 
and more remunerative employment near Gridley. In 1879, he 
worked for a time on the Glenn ranch, and then went to Eureka, 
Nev., where he followed mining. When he returned to California, 
he was appointed foreman of one of the Glenn ranches. 

With modest but steadily accumulating means acquired dur- 
ing the seven years in which he held this position, he began farm- 
ing in 1889, and for eight years rented the Logan ranch of four 
thousand acres, which he planted to wheat and barley. In 1897, 
he bought the Killebrew ranch of nine hundred sixty acres, located 
six and a half miles southwest of Willows, to which he later added 
three hundred twenty acres adjoining; and there continued farm- 
ing, also renting a full section near by. 

With a brother, James W., he now began to extend these 
operations, renting five thousand acres of the Boggs ranch near 
Princeton, and later assumed added responsibility by renting 
eight thousand acres of the Glenn ranch northeast of Willows. 
Thus Snowden Bros., for the time being, became the largest grain- 
growers in the valley, and were among the most successful. In 
their farming operations they used about fifteen to eighteen eight- 
mule teams for putting in the crops, and it took three combined 
harvesters to gather and thresh the grain. Five or six big teams 


were kept busy for months hauling the grain to the landing on the 
Sacramento Biver and to Logandale on the Southern Pacitic for 
shipment. Much of the success of George W. Snowden was due, 
no doubt, to his tireless energy and perseverance. No task seemed 
too large for him to surmount it. The success of his operations 
may be ascribed, also, to his use of modern and up-to-date meth- 
ods, through which he applied every talent that he possessed to 
the task of each day and the solution of each new problem. In- 
cluded in his home ranch he owned two sections of land which he 
improved with a good residence and other buildings, setting out 
orchards, and avenues of eucalyi^tus trees, which last were also 
set around the ratch buildings. He was a lover of nature, and 
found especial pleasure in beautifying his place ; and he stood for 
permanent improvement. 

On September 19, 1889, in Sacramento, Mr. Snowden was 
married to Miss Elizabeth M. Woolf, a native of Clinton, Henry 
County, Mo., and a daughter of James and Margaret E. (Patrick) 
Woolf, natives respectively of Kentucky and Missouri. The father 
served in the Confederate army during the Civil War, afterwards 
engaging in farming until his death at the age of tifty years. At 
a later date the widow, with her children, removed to Glenn 
County, where the daughter, Elizabeth, lived until her marriage to 
Mr. Snowden. Two sons, Eaymond and Herbert, were born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Snowden. They were educated in the high school 
in Willows and the Oakland Polytechnic. Eaymond married 
Freda Lohse, and Herbert was united in marriage with Norma 
Lohse. They became partners in large farming operations on the 
home place, and on thirty-six hundred acres of the old Logan 
ranch. Both are members of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to 
Laurel Lodge, No. 245, F. & A. M., in Willows. The third child, 
Lorene Margaret, who also attended the Glenn County High 
School, finished her education in the San Jose Normal and the 
University of California, making a specialty of music, after which 
she taught music and art in the Willows school, resigning to be- 
come the wife of Carl M. Lohse, of San Francisco. 

At Willows, on May 28, 1907, Mr. Snowden passed away, 
lamented by a very large circle of friends. He was a member of 
Laurel Lodge, No. 245, F. & A. M., of Willows; Colusa Chapter, 
No. 60, R. A. M. ; Colusa Commandery, No. 24, K. T. ; the Eastern 
Star Chapter ; and Chico Lodge, No. 423, B. P. 0. Elks. He was 
a lifelong Eepublican, a prominent leader in his district, and will 
be missed from the councils of the party. After his death the 
partnership with his brother James W. was dissolved. The mem- 
bers of his immediate family own the estate and have since con- 
tinued the farming operations he had begun. Mrs. Snowden 


makes her home in Willows, enjoying the companionship of her 
children and many friends, and places the fullest contidenee in the 
ability of her sons to manage the large affairs left by her hus- 
band. She is prominent in club life in Willows, and in the East- 
ern Star, and in social circles is one of the highly respected and 
honored leaders. 


Twenty-six miles west of Williams, on Sulphur Creek, are 
located the old Mauzanita and Cherry Mines. Practically the 
entire gold output for Colusa County has come from these two 
mines. The Manzanita was located early in 1865 and has been 
worked intermittently since that time, both for gold and for quick- 
silver. This mine, according to the Geological Survey, has the 
rare distinction of being the only quicksilver mine in the world 
with a sufficient quantity of gold to work the ore for that metal. 

These two mines, which were formerly one immense body of 
slate and sand shale, have been separated by the cutting action of 
Sulphur Creek. These slate beds, with their strata standing almost 
perpendicular, rise several hundred feet above Sulphur Creek. 
Both the gold and the quicksilver occur in the seams of the shale. 
The mineralization is no doubt due to the hot springs of this 
section, and is evidently very recent. In fact this process of 
depositing mineral is now going on, and can be watched from week 
to week. Prospect tunnels driven into this slate bed soon have 
their walls coated over with mineral salts. 

Both the Cherry and the Mauzanita were worked for gold in 
the early days, and produced something over $104,000 of which 
there is a record, and probably considerably more of which there 
is no record. The ore from the Cherry was first milled in an old 
Mexican arrastra which was driven by water power from the 
waters of Sulphur Creek. According to local records, Mr. Cherry, 
from whom the mine took its name, recovered in this crude way 
something over thirty thousand dollars. Amalgamating the gold 
with quicksilver was the only process for recovering the gold at 
that time; and owing to an excess of free sulphur in the ore, 
making the water strongly acid, both the gold and the quicksilver 
were coated over. This prevented amalgamation, so that only a 
small percentage of the gold was recovered. From time to time 
various other processes were tried ; but these met with no l^etter 
success than Cherry's. 

The Manzanita was later opened up and operated for a num- 
ber of years by Mr. J. R. Northey. He did considerable prospect- 
ing and developing of the ore bodies, and also conducted some 


very thorough and expensive tests for the recover^' of the gold by 
various processes, but was never rewarded with any great measure 
of success in the recovery of. gold. He was successful with his 
quicksilver mining, however, and produced something over two 
thousand flasks, or approximately 150,000 pounds, of the pure 

In the fall of 1916, Chas. L. Austin, a young mining engineer, 
undertook to solve the metalurgical problems of these mines. 
After careful sampling and laboratory work, he set up a small 
mill on the Cherry mine for testing purposes. After several 
months of careful study, he worked out a combination process 
of cyanide and amalgamation which was highly successful in 
the recovery of the gold. In the spring of the year following 
he organized a stock company among the ranchers and stock- 
men of Glenn County. About the first of June active opera- 
tions on a large scale were begun with the construction of a one- 
hundred-fifty-ton mill. Owing to excessive cost of cyanide, due 
to the war, it was decided to try some new amalgamating machinery 
and avoid cyanide until costs became normal again. This plant 
was completed, but had run only ten hours when it was completely 
destroyed by fire. Unfortunately it did not run long enough to 
try out the process. The plant was promptly rebuilt, however, 
and was given a thorough test. While the various mineral salts, 
which had formerly given so much trouble, were disposed of, it 
was found that the gold was so finely divided that it was carried 
off in suspension in the water and lost ; so the plan was given up, 
and work was suspended until the price of cyanide should make 
its use practicable. 

Among those interested were Z. E. Simpson, John Scribner, 
Col. A. Hochheimer, H. B. Turman, L. F. Turman, Ben Tiirman, 
T. W. Harlan, and A. L. McLamore, all of Glenn County. 


A successful rancher, and a man of affairs of the Sacra- 
mento Valley, Matthias Ossenbriiggen was born near Hamburg, 
Germany, on July 8, 1864. He is a son of Matthias and Annie 
(Rove) Ossenbriiggen, who were prosperous farmers in his native 
country. Young Matthias was reared to farming in his native 
place, where he helped with the work on the home farm; and 
there also he received his education. He had an older brother, 
Peter, who had migrated to California in 1870 and was engaged 
in ranching on Grand Island, Colusa County. The letters he 
wrote back to the home land mentioned the opportunities that 


here awaited young men of brawn and energy, and Matthias was 
inspired to come to the Pacific Coast to cast in his lot with the 
wonderful West so vividly described by his brother. In May, 
1882, he arrived in California ; and on the 28th of that month he 
was at Grand Island. Necessity demanded that he at once get 
to work, and he therefore found employment for a time on 
ranches in that section. Afterwards he was employed in Sutter 
County for nine months, and then came back to Grand Island, 
where for five years he was in the employ of W. F. Howell. 
After this he assisted his brother Peter, working on his ranch 
for another year. 

Mr. Ossenbriiggen had now resided in the state about seven 
years ; and in the meantime he had saved enough of his earnings 
to enable him to go into business for himself. Accordingly, in 
1889, with Adolph Fendt, he leased from Fred Monson his ranch 
of four hundred eighty acres, for five years, and bought a ranch- 
ing outfit, paying down twenty-two hundred fifty dollars, and 
his partner fifteen hundred dollars, on the purchase price of sixty- 
five himdred dollars. They gave their notes for the balance. The 
partners put in their crop, and then went to work for others with 
their teams. Mr. Ossenbriiggen remembers making eight hundred 
dollars ; so that in spite of a flood that caused a total failure of 
their crop, their work paid their expenses and the interest on 
deferred payments. They stuck to their original plan, and were 
finally successful, in the third year adding to their leasehold an- 
other tract of four hundred eighty acres, which they farmed for 
three years. At the end of six years, they dissolved their partner- 
ship, dividing their equipment, stock and profits. 

In the fall of 1895, Mr. Ossenbriiggen went to Glenn County, 
and south of Butte City bought four hundred forty acres of laud, 
going in debt for much of it. With the same tenacity of purpose 
displayed in his earlier operations, he kept at work with his 
teams when he was not working for himself on his own place. 
He had a lot of timber on his place, and this he hired cut, and 
sold it. All in all, he made a success of his work, and in four 
years paid for his land and got out of debt. In 1905 he bought 
another ranch of three hundred forty acres, north of Butte City, 
and this he rented while he operated his own place. In 1908, 
wishing to obtain better school advantages for his children, he 
rented both of his places and moved to Chico, where he pur- 
chased a comfortable residence on Sixth and Laburnum Streets, 
Chico Vecino, where he has since made his home. 

Mr. Ossenbriiggen was married at Grand Island to Miss 
Amanda Fendt, who was born in Holstein. Four children have 


blessed this union; George, who is farming the liome place; 
Annie J., who graduated from the Chico State Normal and 
taught school until her marriage to L. F. Cecil, with whom she 
now lives in Sutter County ; D6ra M., who became Mrs. Crenshaw, 
and lives in Colusa; and Harry H., wbo lives at home. In 1892 
Mr. Ossenbriiggen became a citizen of the United States; and 
ever since he has been a stanch adherent of the policies of the 
Eepublican iDarty. He has served as a delegate to county con- 
ventions, has done jury duty, and in every waj' has shown his 
appreciation of the treatment accorded him in this country. He 
is a firm believer in the principle of constitutional rights for eveiy 
citizen. Mr. Ossenbriigg'en was made a Mason in Emanuel Lodge, 
No. 318, F. & A. M., at Biggs. He was reared in the Lutheran 
Church, and with his wife attends the church in Chico. By hard 
work, good management, and perseverance he has accumulated 
enough to enable him to live retired from hard work and enjoy 
life with his wife at their home in Chico, where they have made 
many friends. When they moved from their old home in Glenn 
County, they left many friends, who felt their moving as a per- 
sonal loss, but whom they still visit from time to time. 


An enterprising, efficient and prosperous rancher, William 
Harvey Otterson is also a public-spirited citizen who looks beyond 
the confines of his own interests and is ready to do anything pos- 
sible for the public good and the advancement of the state. Mr. 
Otterson is a native of Santa Clara County, born at Mayfield, 
November 22, 1867, a son of James and Alice (Short) Otterson. 
James Otterson was born in Canada, but came originally from a 
pioneer family of New York State, who crossed the Isthmus of 
Panama on their way to California in 1852. Grandfather James 
Otterson crossed the plains in 1849, from Canada, where he was 
engaged in the lumber business ; and after his arrival in California, 
he settled in Santa Clara County and conducted a hotel at May- 
field. He died in this state at the age of eighty-two j^ears. The 
mother of W. H. Otterson, Alice Short, came with her father's 
family to California in 1852, settling in Santa Clara County, where 
she was married to Mr. Otterson. During the Civil War, Capt. 
William Short, with James Otterson, father of our subject, organ- 
ized a company at Mayfield. They were not sent to the front, how- 
ever, but saw service in California until the close of the war. 
Captain Short was a Mexican War veteran. When he found that 


the comjiauy were not goino- to the front, he resigned and went 
East, where he secured a commission in the regular army. He 
served valiantly until the close of the war, and then went to Idaho, 
where he passed his last days at the home of Mr. Otterson. James 
Otterson, Jr., was a blacksmith by trade. He is living in Riverside, 
retired from all activities, and is enjoying his declining days. 

William Harvey Otterson was but four years old when his 
parents moved to Oregon and settled in the vicinity of Eugene. 
From there they went to the Palouse country in Idaho. Mr. 
Otterson 's education was received in the public schools of Oregon 
and Idaho. He led more or less of a roving life, living in various 
places in Idaho for twenty years. Near what is now the site of 
Gooding, in that state, he owned a ranch of one hundred sixty 
acres, which he planted to alfalfa. He rode the range in that 
country, and from there went to Arizona, where he engaged in 
freighting, and was exjjosed more or less to tlie dangers of frontier 
life in the early days. 'V\^ien he arrived in Kingninn, with a wife 
and six children, he had but thirty-five doHars to his name; but he 
soon found employment. He began freighting from the Needles 
to the German-American camp, and in connection with this enter- 
prise ran a stage line to Gold Roads. The Salt Lake Railroad was 
then just beginning the extension of its lines through that section 
of Nevada ; and with a partner, J. P. Parker, now of Los Angeles, 
Mr. Otterson was engaged for about two and one half years in 
construction work for the railroad company, with a gang of from 
fifty to one hundred men and seventy-five to one hundred twenty 
head of stock. He next began freighting from Las "^"egas to Bull- 
frog, and then from Nipton to Searchlight, for about a year, after 
which he located in Cima and freighted to the Standard mines, 
hauling copper ore from there and other camps. We next find him 
at Tacopa, on the edge of Death Valley, teaming to the railroad 
with silver and lead ore. When the work opened up on the con- 
struction of the Roosevelt Dam in Arizona, he went to Colton and 
shipped his outfit to Mesa, and began work on that most important 
piece of construction, becoming a teamster for the government. 
One difficult contract undertaken by Mr. Otterson, and which he 
successfully carried out, was the hauling of two boilers, of fifty-two 
thousand pounds each, from Casa Grande to the Jack Rabbit 
Mines. This he did with thirty-six head of stock, and wagons 
built especially for the work. This was one of the largest contracts 
of its kind executed. The next contract he undertook was hauling 
for concrete construction on the El Paso and Southeastern Rail- 
road. In all of his large undertakings, Mr. Otterson seldom had 
an accident. He was careful to avoid unnecessary exposure to 


danger for his men and stock, and carried out bis contracts to the 
best of his ability, gaining the commendation of those by whom he 
was employed. 

After bis many years of experience in freighting and other 
hard work in the mining country, Mr. Otterson decided he would 
settle clown to a quiet life and enjoy the society of his family. He 
saw in the Sunset Magazine an advertisement of the opening up of 
the lauds in Glenn County, and in 1911 came to look the ground 
over. When he found a satisfactory location, be made a purchase 
of eighty acres; and in 1912 he brought his family to their new 
place of abode. He planted every tree and shrub seen on the place, 
built fences and outbuildings, and erected a comfortable home. 
He built a silo of a hundred twenty tons capacity, one of the best 
in this section of the county. A considerable acreage is now seeded 
to alfalfa. The ranch maintains a fine dairy of about forty cows, 
three quarters Holstein, with a registered Holstein bull at the head 
of the herd. Mr. Otterson raised some fine Berkshire hogs, and 
had some rare turkeys on his place. In August, 1917, he disposed 
of this property and moved to Mark West Springs, Sonoma County. 

In 1888, William Harvey Otterson was united in marriage 
with Miss Edith L. Vader, a native of Illinois, of Holland descent. 
She is a talented lady, and for some years was a school-teacher in 
the state of her birth. Of this union seven children have been 
born: Wilbert, residing in the Baj'liss district, who is married 
and has two children; George, in Arizona; Olive; Drucilla, who 
married Ralph Montz, of Fresno, and has one child; and Jack, 
Leland, and Edith Lenore. Mr. Otterson is a Progressive Repub- 
lican, and takes an active interest in public affairs. He is a mem- 
ber of Damon Lodge, No. 19, K. of P., in Mesa, Ariz., and belongs 
to the social organization of that order, the D. 0. K. K. 


The abiding influence and optimism of Peter R. Garnett, and 
his wonderful power of perception, stimulated by visions of the 
value and possibilities of Sacramento Valley lands in the future, 
have never been more apparent than at the present day. The 
keenness of mental vision which enabled him to foresee the pos- 
sibilities of production, and the wise provisions for the welfare 
and moral uplift of the community which he advocated during his 
career in Colusa and Glenn Counties, are seen the better in the 
light of present-day development. His advocacy of improvements 
in irrigation, his loyal support of temperance and Christianity, 




and his honest, straightforward business methods, have born their 
natnral fruit; and results have shown this man's breadth of out-, 
look, and vindicated his prophecy of expansion, placing him in the 
forefront of the iipbuilders of his generation in the community 
where he lived so long and became so well and favorably known. 

The late Peter E. Garnett belonged to an old and prominent 
Southern family, being descended from '\"irginian forebears. He 
was born in Ealls County, Mo., February 14, 1841, and died in 
Glenn County, Cal., March 21, 1911. During the seventy years of 
his life, he accomplished much good, and meanwhile accumulated 
a comj^etency which was left to his descendants, along with th^ 
legacy of an untarnished name. His father, James Richard Gar- 
nett, was born in Virginia, as was also the grandfather. James 
R. Garnett was a farmer and miller by occupation. He removed 
to Meade County, Ky., where he founded a town called Garnetts- 
ville in his honor ; and there he built a flour mill, which he ran in 
connection with his farm. In 1820 he settled in Pike County, Mo. 
Here he engaged in farming, and also had a flour mill at Hannibal, 
until his death. His wife, Elizabeth (Parker) Garnett, was also 
a native of Virginia. Her demise occurred in Missouri in 1875, 
at the age of seventy-three. Of the ten children born to this 
pioneer couple, J. St. Clair and Mrs. Katie Garnett Davis were 
the only ones, besides Peter R., that migrated to California. 

Reared on the home farm until the age of seventeen, Peter E. 
Garnett assisted diligently with the farm, work, meanwhile at- 
tending the subscription schools, and then left home to seek better 
educational advantages, in time matriculating at McGee College, 
College Mound, Mo. Here he continued his studies until the 
breaking out of the Civil War, when, at the age of twenty, he left 
college and enlisted for service in the Second Missouri Regiment, 
under Genei"al Price's command. He performed his duty faith- 
fully, and was several times wounded in battle. At Grenada, 
Miss., he was promoted and commissioned lieutenant, in recogni- 
tion of meritorious services. After this his brigade was captured 
at Mobile Bay, at which time Lieutenant Garnett and his com- 
mand were sent to Jackson, Miss., where they were paroled. 

After the war, Mr. Garnett taught school near Vicksburg, 
meantime studying law, as he intended to follow the legal profes- 
sion. He was duly admitted to the bar ; but the confinement nec- 
essary to the practice of his profession proved injurious to his 
health, and he therefore decided to give up the law and seek out- 
of-door work. His brother, J. St. Clair Garnett, had come to 
California in 1853, and was located on a farm near Dixon, Solano 
County; so he determined to come to the Golden West. Making 


the journey via Panama, he joined his lirother at Dixon, on June 
15, 1868. His operations in ranching continued in that vicinity 
until 1873, when he settled on a farm three miles southeast of Wil- 
lows. Here he enlarged his operations, and was very successful 
in raising wheat, barley, and stock. Having confidence in the pro- 
ducing quality of the soil, he purchased land from time to time, 
until he became the possessor of thousands of acres, and was one 
of the largest owners of land in the Sacramento Valley. Fore- 
seeing the great future in store for the rich lands of Glenn 
County through the building of canals to tajj the Sacramento 
Eiver, Mr. Garnett exerted his powerful influence in behalf of the 
cause of irrigation, and never tired of emphasizing the increase 
in land values, and the vast extension of the state's resources, that 
must follow upon the wise conservation, and the liberal develop- 
ment and distribution, of the waters from the Sacramento Eiver 
and its tributaries. He was a director in the Central Irrigation 
Company; and in recognition of his services and sincerity in the 
cause of irrigation. Governor Pardee appointed him a member 
of the International Irrigation Congress that met in^ Portland, 
Ore., in 1905. 

Mr. Garnett was always a Democrat ; and while not a radical, 
he was always progressive in his i^olitical views. Before county 
division, he was elected and served three years as a member of the 
board of supervisors of Colusa County, and proved a worthy rep- 
resentative of his district. After county division, he was elected 
a member of the board of supervisors of Glenn County, in 1894, 
and was reelected in 1898 ; ancl he took an active and conscientious 
part in so guiding the destinies of the new county that it is found 
today in the front rank, in financial standing, among the counties 
of the state. The cause of education found in him a stanch friend 
and supporter. He served for many years as a school trustee, and 
was the prime mover in the organization and erection of the Wil- 
lows High School, serving as a member and president of the 
board. Always favoring religious movements, Mr. Garnett con- 
tributed to all denominations in his locality, and aided in erecting 
their charch buildings. For years he was a member and the 
superintendent of the Sunday school of the Baptist Church. Fra- 
ternally, he was a Mason, being a memljer of Laurel Lodge No. 
245, F." & A. M., at Willows. 

At Dixon, on October 21, 1873, Peter R. Garnett was united in 
marriage with Ruth A. McCune, a daughter of the Honorable 
Henry E. McCune, ex-state senator and prominent landowner and 
financier of Dixon. Mrs. Garnett is a native daughter of Dixon; 
she is represented more fully in a separate sketch on another page 


of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Garuett had three children. 
Inez, a graduate of CaUfornia College, at Oakland, is the wife of 
C. E. Freed; they are extensive farmers, and are also in charge 
of the home ranch at AVillows. Eeha, who died in Oakland at the 
home of Mrs. Garnett, December 19, 1916, was the wife of Eobert 
Black. She left one son, Garnett Black, who makes his home with 
Mrs. Garnett in Oakland. Hugh M. Garnett, the only son, is a 
prominent stockman at Willows, of whom further mention is made 
elsewhere in this work. 

EverA' movement for reform found in Peter E. Garnett a 
stanch assistant and supporter, and especially the temperance 
cause, in which he took an active interest, working conscientiously 
to bring about the "Dry Campaign" in the county. He was a 
fluent writer, and contributed liberally to the press, particularly 
the Willows Journal and the Colusa Sun. An advanced thinker 
and student of history, he was well posted in the annals of our 
country. Prior to his death he was compiling a book on the 
"Causes of the Civil "War." This work, however, was never 


To the pioneer women of California, no less than to the pio- 
neer men, are due the honor and respect of the generations that 
have followed ; for without their loving sympathy, and support, 
without their faithful devotion and toil, there had been no civili- 
zation carved in the wilderness and no homes built in lonely places 
where wild beasts prowled by day and night. They have borne 
their full share in the making of a great commonwealth; and their 
names are held in loving remembrance in the hearts of the chil- 
dren of the Golden West, and will continue so to be through all 
generations to come. 

A prominent place among the women who have left their im- 
press on the develojiment of Glenn County must be accorded to 
Mrs. Euth A. McCune Garnett, wife of the late Peter E. Garnett, 
one of the foremost men of the Sacramento ^^alley, and one whose 
services to the county were of exceptional importance. In all the 
activities of his active career, Mr. Garnett was ably assisted by his 
able wife. Although her name did not appear on the iDublie roster, 
she aided her husband, as only a faithful wife can, in the per- 
formance of his public duties. 

Before her marriage, Mrs. Garnett was Miss Euth A. Mc- 
Cune, a daughter of Hon. Henry E. McCune. Mr. McCune was 
born in Pike County, Mo., June 10, 1825, and received a good edu- 


cation iu his native state. He was a veteran of the Mexican War, 
having served eighteen months with the monnted volunteers ; and 
at the close of his service he was honoral^ly discharged. Gifted 
by nature with a spirit of adventure, he had a desire to see the 
Pacific Coast; so in 1854, with E. K. Biggs, he drove one hundred 
head of cattle across the plains to Solano County, Cal. On his ar- 
rival, he seemed to visualize the great future of the Sacramento 
Valley. He preempted one hundred sixty acres of land, and thus 
began his career as a pioneer of the Far West — a step which re- 
sulted in his becoming one of the largest farmers and stockmen of 
his day in Solano County. As he prospered, he invested further in 
lands, until he owned extensive areas in the Sacramento Valley. 
He was very successful in raising grain and stock, from which 
pursuit the greater part of his large fortune was made. 

Henry E. McCune became prominent in politics. His political 
career began in 1873, when he became a candidate for senator 
from Solano and Yolo Counties. Although a Democrat, he was 
elected on the People's ticket. He served two terms, taking an 
active part in the various deliberations of the legislative body of 
his state. He was greatly interested in the cause of education. 
For twenty years he was president of the board of education, and 
for thirty years he served as a trustee of California College ; and 
for a time he was president of Dixon College. An active member 
of the Baptist Church, he was instrumental in the building of the 
church of that denomination at Silvey\dlle. Fraternally, he was 
a Mason. 

Senator McCune was married to Miss Barbara S. Rice, a 
native of Kentucky, who proved an amiable and lovable helpmate. 
Of this union eight children were born, of whom six grew to ma- 
turity, as follows: MoUie, Mrs. James Hill, who died in Dixon; 
Euth A., of whom we write; Eebecea, Mrs. Henry Silver, who re- 
sides in Oakland; Joseph H., deceased; Jessie St. Clair, Mrs. Eice 
of Oakland ; and Sarah, deceased, who was the wife of the late Dr. 
Gardner, chief surgeon of the Southern Pacific Eailroad in San 

Euth A. McCune Garnett is a native daughter, born at Dixon, 
where she received her early education amid the refining influ- 
ences of a cultured home. Her parents were people of education 
and refinement ; and the environment surrounding her early years 
is today reflected in her charming personality. Her education was 
completed at Mrs. Perry's Seminary, in Sacramento, where she 
was a classmate of Dr. Theodora T. Purkitt of Willows, as well as 
of others who have become prominent socially and as women of 
affairs, among them Mrs. Gus Hart of San Francisco and Mrs. 
Ella Flournoy Hershey of Woodland. After her education was 


completed, Miss McCune was mai-ried to Peter B. Garnett, the 
ceremony taking place at her father's home on October 21, 1873. 
Mr. Garnett was a prominent farmer and stockman, and one of the 
builders of Colusa and Glenn Counties. His biography is pre- 
sented on another page of this volume. Mrs. Garnett presided 
over her household with grace and tact, and was ever watchful of 
her husband's interests, meanwhile showering upon him her words 
of encouragement and affection, and Ininging to bear, in many un- 
obtrusive ways, an inspiring home influence that had much to do 
with his success and popularity. Since Mr. Garnett 's death, Mrs. 
Garnett has been looking after the large interests left her by her 
husband, as well as her heritage from her father. Senator McCune. 
In this task she is assisted by her loving and devoted daughter, 
Mrs. Inez Garnett Freed, a splendid woman, of charming person- 
ality, and by her son, Hugh M. Garnett, a prominent business man 
and stockman. Through their assistance the mother is relieved 
from all unnecessary care and worry. The home place is a very 
valuable ranch, located two miles southeast of Willows. This 
property is devoted to the raising of grain and stock. Mrs. Gar- 
nett built a beautiful and comfortable residence at 5515 McMillan 
Street, in one of the most attractive residential sections of Oak- 
land ; and here she resides with her grandson, Garnett Black. 

Having traveled considerably in different states besides those 
of the Pacific Coast section, Mrs. Garnett had always cherished a 
desire to visit Europe. In the spring of 1911 she realized her 
ambition, when, accompanied by her daughter, Mrs. Inez Garnett 
Freed, and her grandson, Garnett Black, she made a tour of Ger- 
many, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and the British Isles, 
visiting the places of interest in the various countries. They re- 
turned to Boston on the Laconia, after which they visited the more 
important cities of the East, among them New York, Washington 
(and Mt. Vernon), Philadelphia, and Buffalo (with a trip to 
Niagara Falls). They made a tour of the Southern states also, 
via New Orleans and through Texas, to their home in the land of 
sunshine and flowers. 

Mrs. Garnett is a woman of culture and refinement, gifted 
with an amiable disposition and a winsome personality, and en- 
dowed with much native business ability. Her late husband gave 
her no small degree of credit for laying the foundation of their 
fortune. She is a very charitable woman, always .ready to aid 
those who have been less fortunate than herself ; but all her deeds 
of kindness, and all her acts of benevolence, are accomplished in a 
quiet and imostentatious manner. 



Near Fruto, iu Glenn County, as that section was named 
after its separation from Colusa County, is tlie large ranch that 
was the home of one of the pioneers of the county, known by all 
his intimate friends as Patrick O'Brien. He was born in Ireland, 
and when a small child was brought to the United States by his 
parents, who settled near St. Louis, Mo. He attended the district 
schools of St. Louis County, and grew to young manhood on the 
farm operated by his father. When the "news of the discovery 
of gold in California was sent broadcast throughout the world, 
this sturdy young man and a friend, J. W. Eobertson, decided to 
try their fortunes in the mines. In 1850 they joined an emigrant 
train, which reached this state five months later. The slow-going 
ox teams ended their long journey in Nevada City, where Patrick 
O'Brien and his friend began their mining experiences. They 
were successful there, and later went to Downieville, with their 
good fortune still following them. In 1852 they returned to Mis- 
souri by way of Panama, and bought six thousand dollars' worth 
of cattle, which they drove back over the plains. On arriving in 
California with their two himdred eighty head of stock, they 
settled on Bird Creek, in Yolo County. 

In Yolo County, James Patrick O'Brien was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Sarah Jane Musick, a native of Franklin County, 
Mo. She was a daughter of William L. and Elizabeth (Pritchett) 
Musick, native Missourians, who came to California across the 
plains in 1853, settling near Woodland. In 1865 they removed to 
what is now Glenn County and established their home near that 
of their daughter, Mrs. 'Brien ; but twenty years later they moved 
to Shasta County, where, at Millerville, Mr. Musick 's death 
occurred in 1888. His good wife also died there. Mr. and Mrs. 
O'Brien had nine children, one of whom died very young. The 
others were: Mary, Mrs. Frederick Miller, and Frances, Mrs. 
G. C. Prentice, both now deceased; Margaret, the wife of Dr. 
Burnell, of San Francisco; Susan, Mrs. McLaughlin, deceased; 
Thomas Edward, who married Mabel Williams in 1894, and died 
in 1900; Phihp; Gertrude, Mrs. M. H. Diggs, of Orland; and 
James P., of San Francisco. 

In 1857 Mr. O'Brien took up a government claim of one 
hundred sixt.y acres, located fourteen miles west of what is now 
the town site of Willows. Here he improved a home place; and 
as success rewarded his efforts, he kept adding to his property 
until he owned some ten thousand acres of fine grazing and farm- 


ing land. He made all the improvemeuts on the place. He 
erected a good lionse, built barns, and fenced bis land; and in 
time he had one of the best places in that part of the county. 
There he made his home during the remainder of his life. He 
died on May 2, 1893, at the age of sixty-eight years. His passing 
was a loss to the community, where he had endeared himself to 
all his neighbors and friends. He was well known throughout 
Glenn County, and held the respect of his fellow citizens wherever 
he was known. In national politics, he aligned himself with the 
Democratic party. He was buried according to the rites of the 
Roman Catholic Church, of which he was a devout member. 

After the death of her husband, Mrs. O'Brien was assisted 
in the management of the ranch by her son, Thomas Edward 
O'Brien. He was a likely young man, born in Colusa County and 
educated at the Brothers' School in San Mateo. His school days 
over, he returned to the farm and worked with his father until 
he passed away. He then assumed charge of the ranch, and 
operated it until he, too, was called to join the great majority, 
leaving a widow and one daughter, Phelieta Scyoc, to mourn his 
death. After he died, Mrs. O'Brien made her home on the ranch 
until 1913, when she moved to Willows, where she is now living. 
The place is still devoted to the stock business and to the raising 
of wheat and barley. Mrs. 'Brien is a member and Past Grand 
of the Eebekahs. 


A well-known citizen of Glenn County, who has made his 
influence felt in the upbuilding of his locality, is Daniel F. Mon- 
roe. He was born on Spencer Creek, Lane County, Ore., near the 
town of Eugene, on May 27, 1854. His father was James Monroe, 
born in Fort Hempstead, now in Howard County, Mo., October 
8, 1814, who came by way of Panama, in 1849, to mine for gold 
in California. James Monroe prospected about Hangtown, now 
Placerville, for a time, but did not meet with the success he had 
anticipated. While in Hangtown he was a member of the E. 
Clampus Vitus organization, which cleaned up that mining camp 
of undesirables. After his mining experience, he returned over 
the same route he had come to this state, with the intention of 
bringing his family West to make their home. The next year, 
1852, he crossed the plains with his family in an ox-team train 
numbering some one hundred wagons, of which he was selected as 
captain, to guide them in safety on their long journey. After 
passing the danger line for Indians, the train divided, some coming 


on to California and the others going to Oregon. Mr. Monroe 
was among the latter. On arriving in that state, he settled in 
Lane County; and while living there he became well acquainted 
with John Whittaker, who was elected the tirst governor of 
Oregon. Mr. Monroe became influential in politics, as a promi- 
nent Democrat. He served one term as county commissioner of 
Lane Count.y and one term as assemblyman, and was twice elected 
to serve in the state senate. 

On May 13, 1865, the Monroe family left Oregon for Cali- 
fornia, the father bringing a band of one hundred fifty horses, 
which he drove down to Yolo County. These he sold, and pur- 
chased land, on which he lived one year. The following year he 
returned to Oregon, bought a band of cattle, and drove them into 
California, grazing them on the open range in what was then a 
part of Colusa County, but is now in Glenn County, on Stony 
Creek; and for four years he was engaged in raising cattle with 
success. In 1872 he bought government land in Clark's Valley, 
and engaged in the sheep business until 1875, when he sold his 
band and went to Lompoc, in Santa Barbara County, where he 
made his home until 1884. He then moved back to Colusa County, 
but soon thereafter met with an accidental death. A team ran over 
him, causing an injury, from the effects of which he died, October 
17, 1884 — another pioneer builder gone over the "Great Divide." 
James Monroe was married to Cynthia Brashear, who was born 
in Kentucky, near Roachport, March 21, 1816, of French descent, 
and who bore all the trials of a pioneer's wife as bravely as any 
who ever crossed the plains. Her death occurred at Newville, 
Glenn County, March 10, 1892. She gave birth to nine children, 
eight of them boys. James, George, Charles, and Lemuel died 
of diphtheria in Oregon; while Isaac, Martha, William, John, and 
Daniel F. lived in California. All are now numbered with the 
"silent majority" with the exception of Daniel F. Monroe. 

Daniel F. Monroe was taught by his mother until he was 
eleven years old; and he first attended school in Yolo County. 
He was reared on a farm, and worked as a farm hand when a 
young man. On October 23, 1876, he was united in marriage with 
Mary Vanlandingham, whose father crossed the plains to Cali- 
■ fornia in 1860 from Missouri, and ranched for many years near 
Elk Creek, Glenn County. In June, 1877, the young couple moved 
to Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, where for seven years Mr. 
Monroe worked at the carpenter's trade and farmed. While 
there, he took an active interest in the public school question, 
and helped to build the schoolhouse in the Stuart district, serving 
as a trustee for four years. Coming back to what is now Glenn 
County, he bought land two miles west of Newville ; and there the 

r,>ii;r/ C!mpbi;llfimi.!:sn for Wstofic fi 


family made their home mitil Mrs. Monroe's death, ou June 2, 
1901. Here he also took an active part in building up the West 
Side School, in the Newville district, hauling lumber and working 
on the building, and served as a trustee for a number of rears. 
While living at Newville he was constable for several terms, and 
served as road overseer, helping to build the roads in the district. 

Of the marriage of Daniel F. and Mary Monroe, five children 
were born: John W., county treasurer of Glenn Coimtj^; James 
S., of Orland ; Charles E., of Oakland ; Melissa Olive, who married 
Enoch Knight, and died on June 9, 1906, aged twenty-two years; 
and Mrs. G. E. Schwan, of Aptos, Santa Cruz County. 

After the death of his wife, Mr. Monroe went to Elk Creek 
and for three years did teaming and farmed. In 1904 he moved 
to Orland, and continued to do teaming until 1908, when he came 
to Willows and joined his son, John W., in contracting and build- 
ing, erecting many houses in Willows and vicinity; and he has 
lived in that city ever since. Mr. Monroe is of sturdy Scotch 
stock. His grandfather, William Munro, as he spelled it, was a 
Virginian who went into Missouri, and was associated with Daniel 
Boone in the early days. Mr. Monroe is a member of the Willows 
Lodge, No. 5, E. Clampus Vitus. 


As a prominent factor in the upbuilding of Glenn County, 
James W. Snowden occupied an important place among its repre- 
sentative citizens. Descended from an old Eastern family, he was 
born March 1, 1854, in Scott County, III, a son of John P. and 
Sarah A. (Mills) Snowden, the former a Virginian and the latter 
born in Scott County, 111. John P. Snowden moved to Scott 
County at an early period and became a very successful farmer. 
In 1867 he migrated to Missouri and continued to farm for a time, 
eventually going back to Illinois, where, in Macoupin Coimty, he 
lived until his death in 1902, aged seventy-seven years. Mrs. 
Sarah Snowden lived at the old home until her death in 1915. 
Eleven children, seven girls and four boys, were born to this 
worthy couple. 

James William Snowden was a student in the public schools 
in Illinois. He was the eldest in the family, and assisted his 
father on the home farm, which experience he found valuable in 
after years. When he was thirteen, the family moved to Mis- 
souri. When he was twenty-one, he struck out for himself, and 
farmed near Sedalia, in Pettis County. He came to California in 


1877; and after a year spent on Campbell and Spurgeon's ranch, 
near St. John, he entered the employ of Dr. Hugh Glenn. Soon 
his ability was recognized, and Dr. Glenn made him foreman of 
the home ranch, where he remained in that capacity for twenty- 
three years. 

In partnership with his brother, George W. Snowden, he 
leased eight thousand acres of the Glenn, ranch, which included 
the home ranch, and farmed that i^roperty until it was divided 
into smaller tracts. During this time the brothers leased the 
Boggs ranch of five thousand acres, near Princeton, and raised 
grain. They operated on a large scale, using eighteen eight-mule 
teams to put in their crops, and harvesting with three combined 
harvesters. At times they had as high as thirteen thousand acres 
under lease, one half being sown to grain each year. They were 
among the largest grain farmers in the valley. At the time of his 
brother's death, in 1907, the property was divided and the part- 
nership was dissolved. In 1900 he bought six hundred forty acres 
eight miles southwest of Willows, and began making improve- 
ments on it. He also leased the Garnett ranch for some years, and 
also a part of the Logan property, the latter in partnership with 
his two nephews, and raised large quantities of grain and some 
good stock. Mr. Snowden believed in farming with the latest and 
most modern machinery; and in 1911 he purchased a sixty-horse- 
power caterpillar tractor, which did good service in facilitating his 
extensive operations. He became interested in horticulture under 
the firm name of Snowden, Graves & Wickes, which firm owned an 
api^le orchard of ninety acres in AVatsonville, fifty acres already in 
bearing condition, of the Newtown Pippin and Bellefleur varieties. 
He was active up to the time of his death, which occurred on 
March 18, 1916. He was buried with Masonic honors. 

Mr. Snowden was a prominent Mason, a member of Laurel 
Lodge No. 245, F. & A. M., at Willows. He belonged to the Chico 
Chapter and Commandery, and to Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. 
S., in San Francisco, and also to Marshall Chapter No. 86, 0. E. 
S. He was also a member of Chico Lodge No. 423, B. P. 0. Elks. 
In politics he was a stanch Eepubliean, and was a member of the 
County Central Committee for several years. At the time of the 
county-division fight he was strongly in favor of the creation of 
the new county. 

Mr. Snowden was twice married. His first wife, whom he 
married in Bates County, Mo., was Lovenia Jane Woolf ; and they 
had a son, Herbert Asa. Mrs. Snowden and her son died in April, 
1891. His second marriage united him with a native daughter of 
California, Mrs. Adelia Charlotte (Gray) Brown, born near Lin- 
coln, Placer County. They were married in San Francisco on Sep- 


tember 5, 1904. Mrs. Snowden is a daughter of Benjamin F. and 
Martha E. (Heryford) Gray, both born in Missouri, who crossed 
the plains in pioneer days with ox teams and wagons, with their 
respective parents. They met and were married in California, 
and were farmers in Colusa County, but spent their last years in 
Chico. They had eight children, seven of whom are living. Mrs. 
Snowden was graduated from the Chico State Normal in 1895, and 
followed educational work until her marriage with Mr. Snowden. 
Since the death of Mr. Snowden, his widow has carried on the 
ranching interests and looked after the large business affairs left 
by her husband. She is accounted a good business manager. 

Mr. Snowden was one of the largest stockholders in the Ma- 
sonic Temple Association at Willows, and was largely instru- 
mental in erecting the building. With him, Mrs. Snowden was in- 
terested in building the Willows Creamery, and in the Glenn 
County Garage; and she retains the interest he owned in the 
Elmore Pharmacy at Eed Bluff. Mrs. Snowden is a member of 
Marshall Chapter No. 86, 0. E. S., being Past Matron and Past 
District Deputy. Mr. Snowden was one of the most lovable of 
men, liberal and kind-hearted, helping the ambitious and needy 
alike — a fast friend, a loyal American citizen, and a gentleman. 
At his passing, Glenn County and the state .of California lost one 
of their foremost citizens and upbuilders. 


A retired public official to whom the people of Glenn County 
owe much — a debt, they willingly acknowledge — is Thomas L. 
Knock, for many years county surveyor, and in 1891 an active ad- 
vocate of county formation. He was born in New York City, Feb- 
ruary 10, 1844, and was educated at the University of the City of 
New York, where he took courses in navigation and geology. For 
six years he was a member of the United States Merchant Marine. 
He rose to second mate of a sailing ship, and visited nearly all of 
the most interesting parts of the world. For a time, too, he mined 
in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 

In 1869, Mr. Knock came to California, sailing on a ship from 
Australia. He settled for a while in Colusa, and then went to the 
mines in Nevada. Eeturning to California, he took up govern- 
ment land, which he improved, and also bought some acreage 
north of Orland. Eight hundred acres of his tract he farmed to 
wheat. In 1891, however, he sold out and again took up engineer- 
ing and surveying. The following year he became surveyor of 


Glenn Count}' ; and for twenty years be held that responsible office. 
He surveyed all the roads in the county, laid out the county's 
boundaries, built bridges, and acted as engineer for the construc- 
tion of the Central Canal. In 1900 he took charge of the Spauld- 
ing ranch, a vast area of eleven thousand acres, and somewhat 
later began the development of the same. 

In recent years, Mr. Knock has devoted himself to real estate 
and business interests at Willows, assuming charge of three dif- 
ferent estates in the county. In this enterprise he has established 
an enviable reputation, handling with marked success the interests 
entrusted to him. 

Thomas L. Knock was united in marriage with Agnes M. 
Pullman, a native of New Zealand, of English parentage. He is 
the father of three sons and three daughters : Ada, in the Sand- 
wich Islands ; Elma, well-known in insurance circles in Willows, 
having the largest insurance business there; Thomas; Bayard, the 
present county surveyor, a sketch of whose life will be found else- 
where in this work; Malcolm, in the Sandwich Islands, assistant 
manager of the Spaulding ranch; and Effie, of Willows. Mr. 
Knock is an active Mason, and a director of the Masonic Temple 
Association at Willows. 


A man of great executive ability, Moses Hochheimer was a 
moving spirit in the upbuilding of the well-known tirm of Hoch- 
heimer & Company, with its successful branch stores at Bakerstield, 
Orland and Germantown. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and 
when still very young came with his family to California, making 
the trip by way of Panama. In early manhood he and his older 
brother, Amiel (whose sketch appears in this book), laid the foun- 
dation for their future success in the mercantile business' by 
working in stores in old Silveyville, Solano County, and at Dixon. 

In June, 1876, Mr. Hochheimer came to Willows and estab- 
lished the first store, before the town was even surveyed. It occu- 
pied a small building located on the present site of the Glenn 
County Lumber Company. William Johnson was his partner, and 
the name of the enterprising firm was Johnson & Hochheimer. 
When, at the end of three years, his partner sold out his interest 
to him, his brother Amiel moved to Willows and became a partner 
in the business, from which has developed the present large cor- 

Mr. Hochheimer married Miss Hattie Crawford, a daughter 
of Colonel Crawford; and one daughter, Mrs. Lester Sheeline, of 


Willows, blessed their union. Mr. ?Iodilieimer was a director of 
the Bank of Willows. He was a brilliant man, and a scholar of 
fine education, as well as a live business man ; and when his death 
occurred, in 1911, his loss was deeply felt in social, educational 
and business circles. 


An enterprising merchant of prominence and a man of varied 
interests and large affairs, Amiel Hochheimer has frequently 
placed his valuable experience at the service of the community in 
which he lives. He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. ; but when a small 
boy he came to California, by way of Panama, with his parents' 
family. His father, Simon Hochheimer, went to the Southern mines 
in Calaveras County, and there had indifferent luck. The lad was 
educated in schools at Stockton, and later went, with his younger 
brother, Moses, to Solano County, where they got their first ex- 
perience in the mercantile business, working in stores in old Sil- 
veyville and Dixon. 

In 1879 Mr. Hochheimer settled in Willows, where he has re- 
sided ever since. His. brother Moses had preceded him in 1876, 
and had already established the mercantile business which later 
was to develop into the well-known firm of Hochheimer & Com- 
pany. He became a partner, and is still the president of the com- 
pany. The store stands on the corner of Tehama and Sycamore 
Streets, where it has been since 1878. It is a large, modern, up-to- 
date department store, doing the largest business of any concern 
in Glenn Coimty, and possibly in the Sacramento Valley. Like 
many other similar establishments, it is the outgrowth of a pro- 
gressive evolution, for it has been enlarged and remodeled a num- 
ber of times. The present building was erected in 1891, and was 
remodeled and modernized in 1911. As a natural sequence of the 
well-known Hochheimer enterprise, branch stores have been 
opened and are now maintained at Bakersfield, Orland and Ger- 
mantown. The Bakersfield store is one of the largest and best- 
eqipped modern department stores in Central California, and is 
under the able management of two of the sons, Ira and Monroe. 

Mr. Hochheimer is one of the most prominent men in the Sac- 
ramento Valley. He is a director of the Bank of Willows, and was 
one of the organizers of the Sacramento Valley Bank & Trust 
Company, of Sacramento. He is also a director in the California 
Agricultural Credit Association of San Francisco. For twelve 
years he was a member of the board of managers of the Mendo- 
cino State Hospital of Ukiah, and for four years president of the 


board. Politically, too, Mr. Hocliheimer lias lieen prominent. He 
has been a delegate to three national Republican conventions (St. 
Louis, 1896; Chicago, 1908; and Chicago, 1916), and for thirty 
years has been a leading member of the Eepublican State Central 
Committee. His years of experience in business and public life 
have made him well qualified to hold the positions for which he has 
been selected. He has accepted them, not because of profit to him- 
self, but because he could thus better serve the people of the great 
state in which he is so interested. He is a very magnetic and 
fluent speaker, and holds the attention and interest of his audi- 
ences. In addition, he is so thoroughly conversant with every por- 
tion of the state and of its needs that his words have weight and 
carry conviction. 

In the real estate world Mr. Hochheimer has been identified 
with a number of important deals, which include a subdivision in 
East AVillows and the Hochheimer subdivision three miles north of 
Willows, both of which properties have all been sold off. He is 
one of the owners of the Lemon Home Colony Tract, located north 
of Orland, under the government irrigation system. This valuable 
property of one thousand acres has recentlv been subdivided, and 
is being sold off in forty-acre farms. Mr. Hochheimer has also an 
equity in a number of ranch properties in the county. 

Amiel Hochheimer was united in marriage to Miss Bertha 
Blum, a native of San Francisco. They have four children : Ira, 
manager of the Bakersfield store; Monroe, assistant manager of 
the Bakersfield store; Jack, of Willows; and Mrs. Elsie Brown- 
stein, of Los Angeles. 


Guided by the example and experience of two such prominent 
and successful men in the department store business as liis father, 
Amiel Hochheimer, and his uncle, Moses Hochheimer (whose 
sketches appear in this book), it is not surprising that Ira Hoch- 
heimer, while still a young man, should become the successful man- 
ager of the branch store of Hochheimer & Company, located at 
Bakersfield. Mr. Hochheimer was born in San Francisco, August 
6, 1876, and removed with his parents to Glenn County, where 
he grew to manhood. After the usual course at the public schools, 
he attended the University of California, from which he graduated 
with honors in the spring of 1898. Immediately on finishing his 
college course he returned to Willows, and became manager of 
the Hochheimer store here; and on the death of M. H. Wangen- 
heim, the manager of the Bakersfield establishment, he was trans- 


f erred to that city and became Mr. Waugenlieim's successor. 
How well he has fulfilled all expectations since, at the age of 
twenty-six, he entered on the heavy responsibilities of his new 
post, may be seen from the successful clevelopment and almost 
phenomenal growth of the Bakersfield store. 

The same superior qualities which have characterized Mr. 
Hochheimer's mercantile activities, have manifested themselves 
also in other fields. For some time he was on the staff of Colonel 
Seymour, of the National Guard of California, and also on the 
staff of Governor Gillett, with the rank of colonel. Popular so- 
cially, he has belonged to the Bakersfield Club, the Army and 
Navy CluTj of San Francisco, and the Argonaut Club of San 
Francisco. He is a thirty-third degree Mason and a Shriner. 


In the roll of honor of those pioneers of California whose 
lives, and work, and sacrifices are reflected in the present pros- 
perity of the state, the name of William W. Marshall, now 
deceased, will have an enviable place. Born in Macon County, 
Mo., September 26, 1837, he crossed the plains in 1852 in com- 
pany with J. C. Wilson, driving a herd of cattle all the way to 
California. Once arrived here, and somewhat settled, he mined 
for a while in Calaveras and Amador Counties, and then, iu 1857, 
went to Colusa County, where he took up government land fifteen 
miles northwest of W^illows. He engaged in cattle-raising and 
sheep-raising, and meanwhile kept adding to his holdings, until 
at one time he owned three thousand acres of land. At one time 
he farmed about two thousand acres to wheat and barley. His 
stock operations also included the raising of mules and high-class 
trotting horses; and among the latter, his horse Stranger won 
many races at the local fairs, and on the trotting courses of San 
Francisco. Such was the quality, too, of his sheep and cattle 
that they won for him numerous medals. The old home ranch, 
consisting of twenty-two hundred acres, is still in the possession 
of the family. 

In 1862, Mr. Marshall married Miss Elmira Halley, a native 
of Illinois, who crossed the plains in 1854 with her parents, from 
Iowa, then their home, when she was only ten years old. Her 
father was G. W. Halley, who settled in Colusa County, where he 
bought government land, and for many years successfully engaged 
in the raising of cattle and hogs. G. W. Halley married Miss 
Jane Sherman, a native of Illinois. Besides Mrs. Marshall, they 


had two other children: Oscar Halley, of Red Bluff; and Mrs. 
M. E. Alvarado, of Mountain Yiew, Cal. Mrs. Marshall still 
relates many interesting experiences of pioneer days. They came 
into Colusa County with their ox teams ; and for some time there- 
after they used the oxen for travel about the country. She remem- 
bers very well the antelopes and the wild Spanish cattle roaming 
everywhere about the plains at Colusa. Four children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Marshall. The eldest, Mrs. Nellie Bressler, now 
deceased, was the mother of three children: Mrs. J. E. Carter, of 
Sebastopol ; Mrs. E. G. Callender, of Petaluma ; and Lyle Bressler, 
now twenty-five years of age, who lives on the old home ranch of 
his grandfather, of which he has charge, and on which he is meet- 
ing with success. The other children of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall 
are : Mrs. Leonora Neate, of Willows ; James Edward, deceased, 
the father of one son, Leon W. Marshall, who is studying dentistry 
in San Francisco ; and Roy Marshall, of Willows. 

William W. Marshall died in 1911, and was buried with due 
Masonic rites. In his death the community lost an exemplary 
citizen and an enterprising builder of the state. He was one of 
the largest grain farmers in the county. His greatness, liowever, 
did not consist merely in his spirit of enterprise. It was rather 
his high sense of personal honor, and the elevated principles which 
actuated him, and which he applied in every transaction and 
would have the commonwealth adopt as its own, that made him 
conspicuous as a leader among his fellow men. Mrs. Marshall, 
who survives her husband, is still an active and energetic business 
woman. She is a charter member of Marshall Chapter, 0. E. S., 
of Willows, of which she is Past Matron. In her religious life she 
is a consistent member of the Christian Church. 


The ranch of thirty-nine hundred acres known as the Harbison 
& Kitehin Ranch, located in Colusa County, is an illustration of 
what can be accomplished by hard work, good management, and 
intelligent api^lication. Until 1916 the partners raised wheat, 
barley and stock on this property and other tracts that they 
leased. They kept fort^' head of brood mares, and raised horses 
and mules, together with about fifty head .of cattle each year. To 
carry on this large ranching project properly, it was necessary to 
make use of the most modern methods. They employed modern 
machinery and implements, including a forty-five horse-power 
Holt caterpillar tractor and a Holt combined harvester. Three 

db^Ai^ (^.aaJcua: 


sets of buildings have been erected on different parts of the 
property; and everything has been put in shape to facilitate the 
work of the partners and their helpers. 

In 1916 two hundred acres of the land was prepared for 
irrigation and planted to rice under lease. It yielded a good crop, 
and the partners determined to plant a large acreage to rice in 
1917. They entered into an agreement with Mallon & Blevins to 
line, check up, irrigate and plant to rice three thousand acres of 
their land. This was a gigantic undertaking. When the work 
is completed, Mallon & Blevins are to get a deed to about nine 
hundred acres of the tract, and a two-year lease on the balance 
of the land that is put in rice. Under the terms of the agree- 
ment the owners of the property are to receive three dollars per 
acre for all land planted to rice in 1917, and six dollars in 1918. 
They have great faith in the project, and are aiding in every way 
to make it a success. 

After the decision to plant their land to rice had been made, 
the partners purchased nine hundred sixty acres in the hills of the 
county and moved their stock to new pastures. If the rice 
project proves anywhere near as profitable as present prospects 
indicate, the increased valuation of the large ranch will place 
Messrs. Harbison & Kitchin on an independent basis, and amply 
reward them for the many years of labor they have spent in 
developing the land from its original condition. Separate men- 
tion of both members of this firm will be found elsewhere in 
this work. 


The story of the life of George Henry Purkitt is one of inter- 
est; and, were he alive to narrate it, the scenes that he witnessed 
during his active career in California, the hardships that he en- 
dured, and the obstacles that he surmounted would make a large 
volume. His biography dates from January 18, 1838, when he was 
born at Griggsville, Pike County, 111., and closes with his death at 
Willows, Cal., on September 14, 1915. 

Mr. Purkitt came of good old Colonial stock on both sides of 
his family. His paternal great-grandfather was Col. Henry Pur- 
kitt, of Boston, Mass., who was a member of the Boston Tea 
Party, and who later served with distinction throughout the Revo- 
lutionary War. He is buried in the Boylston Street Cemeterj^ 
on the edge of Boston Common. The maternal- grandfather was 
Frederick Prevost, a son of Sir George and Lady Theodosia Pre- 
vost. Sir George was an officer in the English navy. Upon his 


death, Mrs. Prevost remained a resident of America, and later be- 
came the first wife of Aaron Burr. 

George H. Purldtt's father, George Tuckerman Purkitt, came 
west from Boston to Illinois in 1831. In that state he attended 
Jacksonville College with Richard Yates, who later became the 
famous war governor of Illinois. On November 24, 1836, George 
T. Purkitt married Miss Henrietta Prevost, at the old Prevost 
homestead, about fifteen miles southwest of Jacksonville, the 
county seat of Morgan County. They spent their lives in that 
vicinity, and are buried in Mt. Sterling Cemetery. 

Like his father, George Henry Purkitt attended Jacksonville 
College, selecting civil engineering as a profession; and also, like 
him, lie responded to the call, "Westward ho!" He started for 
California with an ox-team train, and arrived in Sacramento on 
July 6, 1862. From the capital city he went to San Francisco to 
visit an uncle, John H. Purkitt, who was then in the employ of the 
government in the custom house. After a short visit he went to 
Sierra County and followed hydraulic mining for a year, and then 
went to Yuba County and there continued mining on the Rabbit 
Creek road for six months. Not succeeding in finding the "elusive 
yellow metal," he went to Brown's Valley, in that county, and was 
employed in a general merchandise store for a time. On May 5, 
1865, he located in Marysville, where he kept books in the whole- 
sale grocery house of G. A. Polk & Co., until 1868. He then went 
to Colusa, where, in 1869, he served as deputy sheriff under I. N. 
Cain. From 1872 to 1874 he filled the office of county surveyor. 

In Sacramento, April 27, 1873, George H. Purkitt was united 
in marriage with Miss Theodora Tiffee, a daughter of John Rich- 
ard and Rebecca (Terrill) Tiffee. After his term of office as 
county surveyor was completed, in 1874, Mr. and Mrs. Purkitt re- 
moved from Colusa to the northwest part of Colusa County, that 
part now included in the boundaries of Glenn County, and took 
charge of the Tiffee estate, a ranch located nine miles west of 
Willows. There they lived and farmed until 1889, when they 
moved to the town of Willows. 

Mr. Purkitt was always a stanch Democrat, and took an active 
part in political affairs. Together with B. N. Scribner of Orland, 
Nelson Davis of Butte City, Milton French and Joe Troxel, both 
of Willows, he was appointed by Governor Markham a commis- 
sioner for the formation of Glenn County. This commission met 
in executive session on May 11, 1891, complimenting Mr. Purkitt 
with the chairmanship. As a result of their labors, Glenn County 
came into being with its present boundaries, and with Willows as 
its eountv seat. 


Mr. Purkitt was the father of six children, five of whom sur- 
vive him. There are three grandchildren. Herbert Titfee Purkitt, 
the oldest son, died on August 24, 1901. Those living are : Claude 
Fouts Purkitt, of Willows; Theodore Tiffee Purkitt,' of Woodland, 
who is the father of one daughter, Theodora; Edna Louisa, the 
wife of J. E. Knight, of Willows, and the mother of two children, 
John Eichard Tiffee and George Purkitt; Georgie Harriett, the 
wife of Homer S. Henley, of San Francisco, Cal. ; and Eebecca 
Terrill, the wife of Charles F. Lambert, of Willows. Mr. Purkitt 
was a man of unquestioned integrity, and loyal to his friends to 
a marked degree. His body rests beside that of his beloved son, 
in the family liurial plot in the city cemetery, at Sacramento. 


The name Somers recalls the reader of history to the period 
of the early days before there was such a town as Willows, and be- 
fore there was a railroad running through the valley; and to the 
time when cattle roamed at will over the broad expanse of the 
plains and through the foothills into the mountainous country. 
The Somers family is one of the oldest in this section. Charles 
Somers, the father of Charles Hugh Somers, owned a part of the 
land upon which Willows was laid out. His name was a familiar 
one to the early settlers, for he was one of the Argonauts of fortj^- 
nine. A native of Eutland, Vt., he busied himself in that state un- 
til the discovery of gold in California lured him away from peace- 
ful pursuits to chance a trip around the Horn to San Francisco on 
a sailing vessel. On his arrival here he sought the mining dis- 
tricts in Placer County, and tried his fortunes there ; but not find- 
ing the bonanza he had expected, he took up freighting from Sac- 
ramento, and also engaged in fai'ming. 

In 1872 he removed to what was then Colusa County. Later, 
when the division was made, his holdings were in Glenn County; 
and he had land right where the bustling city of Willows now 
stands. He improved his quarter section of land, built suitable 
buildings for his family, and raised grain and stock with a fair re- 
turn for his labor. He sold out about the time the railroad was 
building through this section ; and the farm was later cut up into 
town lots and built up with residences. Mr. Somers started the 
first draying business, which he followed until his death. He mar- 
ried Mary Cameron, a native of Jackson County, 111., who came 
across the plains in 1854 with her uncle, Joe Zumwalt, in an ox- 
team train of immigrants. Joe Zumwalt was a pioneer landowner 


in what is now the Willows section of Glenn County. The family- 
is still represented by a son, James Zumwalt. Mary Cameron 
Somers is now residing on North Lassen Street, in Willows. She 
is an interesting woman, who can relate many thrilling incidents 
of pioneer days in the Sacramento Valley. Of the ten children 
born to this pioneer woman, two are deceased : Katherine, Mrs. J. 
D. Crane, and Arthur. The eight living are: Mrs. Brigman, 
Charles, Jennie, Belle, Lottie, Abbie, William, and Dollie. All re- 
side in Willows except Mrs. Brigman, who lives in Sacramento, 
and Lottie, of San Francisco. 

Charles Hugh Somers was born in Placer Couutj^, near Au- 
burn, on November 13, 1862. He was reared and educated in Wil- 
lows after he was ten years old. As a lad he helped his father on 
the home ranch, where he remained until he was twenty-one, after 
which he went to work for wages on neighboring ranches in the 
valley. He saved money enough to start in the express business, 
which he followed for a time. Later he ran a wood j'ard, imtil 
1895, when he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Eailroad 
Company. Four years later, he was made foreman of the section 
on the Fruto branch, a position he filled with satisfaction for ten 
years. He was then transferred to the Willows section, on the 
main line, where his entire time is taken up with his duties. Mr. 
Somers was a member of the old parlor of the Native Sons of the 
Golden West, until it was disbanded. He has always taken great 
interest in all matters that pertain to the early days in the history 
of the state. 


The late Fountain C. Graves, of the Stony Creek section of 
Glenn County, was one of tlie most prominent and well-known men 
of the Sacramento Valley, in which he had lived since 1861. In 
March of that year, he came to what was then Colusa County, 
and bought one hundred acres of land, to which he added from 
time to time, as he prospered, until he owned a thousand acres. 
Here he raised good crops of grain, having on an average from 
five to six hundred acres. Besides this, he raised cattle, sheep 
and hogs, together with such other stock as he needed to carry 
on his ranch work properly. With the advent of modern machin- 
ery, he always kept abreast of the times and was up-to-date. He 
was born in Pulaski County, Ky., July 6, 1828, a son of Hiram T. 
and Parmelia (Nunnelley) Graves, both natives of that same 
state. Robert Graves, the grandfather, was born in North Caro- 
lina. He crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains with Daniel Boone, 



his wife ridiug a mule, with her child strapped to her back, and 
settled in Kentucky. Robert Graves was closely related to many 
prominent families of historical renown. He was a nephew of 
John and William Hancock, and a cousin of Gov. Clayborn F. 
Jackson, of Missouri. He died in Pulaski County. In 1832 Hiram 
T. Graves left Kentucky and settled in Macon County, Mo., where 
he farmed for seven years, returning then to Pulaski County, Ky. 
Four years later he went back to Macon County, where he was 
busily engaged in raising tobacco until his death. Here, also, his 
wife passed away. 

The oldest of eight children, Fountain C. Graves was but 
four years old when his parents settled in Missouri. He returned 
with his parents to Kentucky in 1839. As his services were needed 
on the farm, to help support the large family, he found little 
opportunity to go to school. When he was old enough to strike 
out for himself, he learned the trade of the stone mason, which 
he turned to good account in later years. He remained in Ken- 
tucky until 1854, following his trade, and then moved to Missouri, 
whither his parents had preceded him. There he continued at his 
trade, and also raised grain and stock. 

On April 29, 1861, Mr. Graves started from Macon, in com- 
pany with a band of emigrants, comprising fourteen wagons 
drawn by oxen, liound for California. En route the oxen were ex- 
changed for mules. The party reached Red Bluff on September 
25, that same year. Soon after, Mr. Graves came down to Colusa 
County, locating in what is now Glenn County, and the following 
year purchased the place that thereafter remained his home until 
he died. He suffered a severe loss when his house burned down in 
1903; but he afterwards erected a modern residence, where he 
and the family lived in comfort. He was always interested in 
progress, and was one of the organizers of Stony Creek Irriga- 
tion Ditch. He served as one of the commissioners of the county. 
He it was who circulated the i^etitions for the road from Newville 
to the river, for the first voting precinct between Newville and St. 
John, for the first school district north of Nye district, and for the 
location of the first post office between Newville and St. John, of 
which he was appointed postmaster. He located the Chamberlain 
brothers on a quarter section where Orland now is, declaring that 
it would be the town site. In pohtics, Mr. Graves was a Republi- 
can. Fraternally, he was a Mason of the Knights Templar degree. 
Mr. Graves was married in Missouri to Lavina Jane Ashurst, 
who was born in Pulaski County, Ky. ; and eight children were 
born to them: Fernando Cortez, now deceased, who married 
Sadie Hughes; Col. Fremont Ashurst, who married Nellie Estes; 
William Robert; Harry Francis, who married Jessie Gav; Eliza- 


betli, Mrs. W. H. Bates; Amy Helen, who became the wife of W. 
P. Gay; Annie Bidwell, who married William A. Glenn; and Mar- 
garet Carrie, the wife of Edwin Neilsen. Mr. Graves died at his 
home on January 30, 1915 ; and his widow passed away on July 24, 
1916. Their lives were well rounded out with good deeds and with 
years of usefulness. They lived to celebrate their sixty-first wed- 
ding anniversary. With their passing the state lost two more of 
its pioneers, and two who always did their share to build for 
all time. 


An authority on rice culture, and a man of large experience 
in affairs involving broad surveys and energetic initiative, Charles 
L. Donohoe has done much to advance the interests of California 
agriculturists, especially in matters pertaining to irrigation. He 
was born in Sutter County, Cal., October 24, 1868. His father, 
John Donohoe, was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was a sailor be- 
fore the mast for many years, finally arriving in San Francisco, 
in 1851. Going at once to the mines, he followed the fortunes of a 
miner for about eighteen months near the site of the present town 
of Oroville, Butte County. Later, he settled on a farm which he 
had purchased seven miles north of Yuba City, and there followed 
farming and stock-raising until his death, which occurred on June 
12, 1902, at the age of seventy-six years. He was united in mar- 
riage with Susan Lunney, who was also a native of Ireland, born 
in County Tyrone, and who, after a useful life, passed away on 
June 15, 1900, when in her sixty-fourth year. 

Charles L. Donohoe was reared on the farm in Sutter County, 
and attended the public schools to secure an education. After he 
had finished school, he began teaching, and for four years was 
thus employed in the schools of San Joaquin, Calaveras and Sut- 
ter Counties. He then took a course in the Stockton Business Col- 
lege, after which he studied law. He was admitted to the bar on 
November 11, 1889, and that same month opened an office in 
Marysville, where he began his practice. In 1890 he was a candi- 
date for the office of district attorney of Yuba County, against E. 
A. Forbes, but was defeated at the election. Since then he has not 
mingled in politics. 

Upon the organization of Glenn County, Mr. Donohoe was at- 
tracted to the new section, and in November, 1891, took up hia 
residence at Willows. Ever since that date he has been actively 
identified with the upbuilding and development of the county of 
his adoption. In 1891, he was one of the organizers of the Stony 


Creek Irrigating Company, the pioneer concern of its kind in 
Glenn County; he served as its secretary and manager, and car- 
ried on the project with his associates until 1907, when they sold 
out to the United States Government in furtherance of the Orland 
project. In 1895, Mr. Donohoe organized the Orland Real Estate 
Association, which purchased five hundred acres of land in the 
northeastern part of Glenn County and subdivided the same into 
fifteen-acre and twenty-acre farms. These were advertised exten- 
sively throughout the East, and eastern men have profited by 
answering the call and settling here. The organization and suc- 
cess of this enterprise in irrigation and land development in the 
Orland district was what brought about the government project in 
this section in 1907. 

Mr. Donohoe was instrumental, likewise, in the organization 
of the Central Canal and Irrigation Company, which took over the 
original ditch, of fifty miles in length, taking water from the Sac- 
ramento River, and started the development of the lands now un- 
der the Sacramento River Canal; and he was also one of the or- 
ganizers of the Sacramento Valley Land Company, which pur- 
chased three thousand acres of the Glenn ranch, six thousand 
acres of the Packer ranch, and all of the John Boggs ranch. This 
land was subdivided into smaller tracts, and was sold for from 
forty to fifty dollars per acre, with water rights. Mr. Donohoe is 
still interested in the subdivision of large tracts of land in the 
Sacramento Valley-, which include property in the Orland section 
under the government irrigation project, and other holdings in the 
valley. In 1917 he completed a large deal involving some nine 
thousand acres of land. 

Mr. Donohoe handled all the litigation for the landowners in 
connection with the Water Irrigating System, and succeeded in 
getting the water necessary to supply their demands. He won a 
fight in the courts that was carried on for a number of years, thus 
securing a victory in the people's interest. He is considered one 
of the best-posted men on water rights, irrigation laws, and mat- 
ters pertaining to real estate in the Sacramento Valley. It was 
his reputation for expert knowledge along the lines indicated, that 
led to his appointment by Governor Hiram Johnson as a member 
of the Water Problems Conference Commission for the purpose of 
revising the water laws of the state, which commission went out 
of existence at the session of the state legislature in 1916-1917. 

As one of the organizers and directors of the Pacific Rice 
Growers' Association, Mr. Donohoe has taken an active interest 
in rice cultivation in the valley. His company was the first to 
utilize the alkali lands, known as "goose lands," for growing rice, 
having put in eighty acres in 1914. The success of that venture 


brought about the present development ; and in 1917 about twenty 
thousand acres was seeded to rice, which will yield a revenue of 
some two million five hundred thousand dollars — principally from 
land that was formerly of no value except as pasture for sheep and 
cattle. This company is a live organization. In 1916 it had some 
eleven hundred acres in rice ; and in 1917 this had been increased 
to over two thousand acres. 

From the time of his arrival in Glenn Conty in 1891 until 
1909, there were no important cases in litigation before the courts 
that Mr. Douohoe was not associated with on one side or the other. 
Since 1909, however, on account of ill health, he has turned his 
attention entirely to the real estate interests of the county and 
surrounding country. From the beginning of the Johnson admin- 
istration he has been a stanch supporter of Progressive policies, 
and has done much to further the movements of the party in the 
northern part of the state. He is not a seeker after ofBce, but 
always gives his influence to promote good government, moral 
uplift, and county development along every line. He is a self- 
made man in every sense of the word. With his brother, Thomas 
J. Donohoe of Alaska, Mr. Donohoe owns the old home ranch in 
Sutter County. 

In 1896, on August 13, occurred the marriage of Charles L. 
Donohoe and Miss Jessie Keith, a native of Missouri. They have 
one daughter, Frances Louise Donohoe, a student in the San Jose 
Normal School. 


A pioneer of what is now Glenn County, August Henning 
plowed the land and planted grain on the very spot which is now 
the town site of Willows. He was born in Germany, in 1850, of 
poor but deserving parents, who gave him such advantages for ob- 
taining an education as they were able to afford. He could see no 
promising future for himself in his native land, and being ambi- 
tious to forge ahead, he counseled with his parents and decided 
that the United States held the opportunities he was seeking. In 
1870 he arrived in Grand Island, Nebr., a stranger in a strange 
land, and unable to speak English; but he was willing to work, 
and accepted the first opportunity offered, spending two years in 
that city. His objective point, however, was California; and as 
soon as he had saved money enough to pay his fare and expenses, 
he started, in 1872, for the land of his desire. Arriving in what 
was then Colusa County, he worked for two years for wages on 
the Zumwalt ranch. His experience there gave him confidence; 

jj x>- 



aud iu 1874 he leased two Imiulred forty acres in what is now the 
eastern part of the town of AM Hows, where the county hosjiital 
now stands, and with his brother Henry for a partner, began raid- 
ing wheat. Success crowned his efforts, and in due time he bought 
four hundred acres north of Germantown, besides which he leased 
three hundred twenty acres of the Montgomery ranch. Here he 
continued in the raising of grain, which had to be hauled to Prince- 
ton and thence shipped by boat to the markets. In 1879, still hav- 
ing his brother as a partner, he rented two thousand acres of the 
J. R. Talbot ranch, west of Willows. Meeting with good success, 
the brothers continued their farming operations together until 
1882, when they dissolved partnership. That same year, August 
Henning opened a liquor store in Willows, which he ran for some 
time. In 1901 he bought three hundred acres on the Sacramento 
Eiver, in Glenn County. 

August Henning has been twice married. His first wife died 
in 1882, leaving two children, Walter Henning and Mrs. Laura 
Duncan. At his second marriage, which occurred in 1887, Miss 
Ellen McCallum became his wife. Two daughters blessed their 
union. Gussie is now the wife of Dr. L. E. Tuttle ; and Nellie mar- 
ried William Dean. Mr. Henning served froin 1901 to 1905 as a 
member of the board of trustees of the city of Willows. He has 
always been a progressive, public-spirited citizen, giving of his 
time and means to advance the interests of his coimty. During 
the many years of his residence in Willows he has made a host of 
friends, who speak only in the highest terms of his upright, moral 
character, and high ideals of citizenship. Fraternally, he is a 
member of the Knights of Pvthias and of the Odd Fellows, at 


In California, more than in any other state in the Union, the 
vigorous prosperity of the state is directly traceable to those pio- 
neers who came out of the East to help build up the West, leaving 
behind them all the comforts' of an eiTete civilization to confront a 
life of untiring effort, full of hardships and rough edges, but with 
promise of rich rewards to spur them on with renewed energy 
when they found their spirits flagging. Among those who chose 
that portion of the state which is now Glenn County as the scene 
of their activities, John Stephen Logan is worthy of mention as 
having been identified with the development of this section. Born 
in Warren County, Mo., October 28, 1843, be comes of an old 
Scotch-Irish family who settled in Kentucky, and later in Mis- 


soiui, being contemporaries of Daniel Boone. It was in Missouri 
that Mr. Logan was reared and educated, a son of Alexander and 
Elizabeth (Quick) Logan, natives of Lexington, Ky. 

Feeling the call of the West, as his fathers had before him, 
Mr. Logan came to California, in 1866, via Panama, and located in 
what is now Glenn County, where he engaged in farming and 
stock-raising with the late Hugh A. Logan, with whom he became 
associated and financially interested in the operating of large 
ranches and stock interests, an association in which they continued 
in amicable and harmonious cooperation. They incorporated their 
holdings as the Hugh A. Logan Land & Cattle Company, and he 
has been director and treasurer of the company ever since, devot- 
ing to the business his time and the practical knowledge which his 
years of experience have given him. 

Aside from the stock-raising business, Mr. Logan is much in- 
terested in horticulture. He has set out an orchard of a large 
variety of trees, having found that locality particularly suitable 
for both deciduous and citrus fruits, as well as almonds and wal- 
nuts. A man of keen intelligence and a close observer, well read 
and well informed on current topics, he is an interesting conver- 
sationalist. Like most pioneer Californians, he is very generous, 
dispensing the old-time hospitality; and fortunate is the visitor 
who has the pleasure of being entertained by him. Liberal and 
kind-hearted, he is ever ready to help those who have been less 
fortunate than himself. A great lover of children, he never tires 
of doing for them ; and they, in turn, show their gratitude for his 
kindness. Emphatically a man of energy, Mr. Logan has never 
been idle, but has continued to be one of the most enterprising and 
active men in Glenn County, giving substantial encouragement to 
every plan for the promotion of the public welfare. 


William J. Petersen is the owner of eighty-four acres of fine 
land, situated three and one-half miles northwest from Orland. 
Mr. Petersen was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, April 8, 
1886. He was a pupil in the grammar schools of his home place 
until he was fifteen, when he decided to come to the United States. 
California was his objective point, and he arrived in Sonoma 
County in 1901. For some time he was employed on a ranch near 
Sebastopol, learning the ways of the country and acquiring the 
ability to speak English, thus equipping himself to conduct his 
own business at some future time. The young man saved his 
money; and when he had enough to make a start for himself, he 


rented some land and bought the implements and machinery neces- 
sary to operate it with success. He raised fruit, grapes and 
chickens, and also conducted a dairy. To do this successfully 
meant hard work ; but he was young and vigorous, and ambitious 
to build a sure foundation for his future success. 

On January 6, 1914, Mr. Petersen arrived in Orland with 
money to invest in land if he could find what he wanted. The 
place where he is now located seemed to fill the bill, and he there- 
fore bought it and took possession. Since then he has given his 
time to improving the property and making it what it is today. 
He has a fine dairy of thirty cows, high-grade Jerseys, with a 
registered Jersey bull at their head. Fifty-five acres of the land 
is seeded to alfalfa, which averages six tons to the acre, yielding 
five crops annually. Mr. Petersen is a stockholder and a director 
in the Orland Cheese and Butter Co., a firm which very materially 
furthers the interests of the dairymen in the Orland district. 

William J. Petersen was united in marriage with Miss Keike 
Matsen, one of his countrywomen, who has proven her worth in 
every way as a faithful helpmate and counselor. They have two 
bright children, lima and Lillian, to add comfort and cheer to their 
home. Both Mr. and Mrs. Petersen have a wide circle of friends 
in their new home locality, who predict much prosperity for them, 
and admire their thrift and public spirit. 


A man who was always working for the interests of his fellow 
citizens, and who held the esteem and good-will of his community, 
was the late Cathy M. Sehorn, of Willows. He was born in Wythe- 
ville, Va., in 1851, a son of Marion and Eebecca Jane (Wallace) 
Sehorn, both of whom represented prominent families of the 
South. The Sehorns are of German ancestry. Grandfather Se- 
horn was a major in the Revolutionary War; and the maternal 
grandfather was Colonel Adam Wallace, who also distinguished 
himself in the Revolution. A brother of Cathy M. Sehorn is An- 
drew Wallace Sehorn, or "Wall" Sehorn, as he is best known by 
his friends in Glenn County. 

The education of Mr. Sehorn was obtained in the subscription 
schools of Virginia ; and he shared the fortunes of the family until 
he came to California. After his arrival in this state, he was en- 
gaged in farming and stock-raising in Tehama County for several 
years. In 1888 he sold out and moved down into Colusa County, 
and in the Elk Creek district resumed his farming operations. In 


1893 Mr. Seliorn moved to the vicinity of Willows, and three years 
later purchased a quarter section of land near town, paying two 
thousand two hundred dollars for the tract. It was a barley field; 
and with the exception of some eucalyptus trees, there were no 
improvements upon the place. Mr. Sehorn wove the wire fencing 
for cross-fencing the property; and aided by his wife, he made 
every improvement now seen on the ranch. He laid out a neat 
farm and set out trees — lemons, oranges, figs, and English walnuts. 
He was among the first to graft English walnuts ; and he did that 
service for many of his friends and neighbors, for years. He sank 
a well and developed an excellent water system on his land, being 
one of the first men to put in a pumping plant in this section. He 
put in about twenty acres of alfalfa, and did a general farming 
and stock-raising business with a fair degree of success. He 
erected the present family residence, with other suitable outbuild- 
ings necessary to the conduct of the ranch. 

• In the midst of his own prosperity, Mr. Sehorn gave some 
thought to the comfort and well-being of his neighbors. He built 
the first swimming-pool in the county, a cemented tank thirty-five 
by sixty-four feet in size. This is used as a public swimming- 
pool, and is largely patronized by the citizens of Willows during 
the summer. A public-spirited man, with decidedly Democratic 
preferences, Mr. Sehorn sought to accomplish all the good he 
could during his life ; and when he died, in January, 1916, he was 
mourned by every one. He was a man who loved his home and 
family, and his happiest hours were those spent in their society. 

In 1888, while living in the Elk Creek district, Mr. Sehorn was 
united in marriage with Miss Nellie Keith, a native of California, 
and a daughter of Richard Keith, who came to California by way 
of the Isthmus of Panama, and on his arrival here went to the 
mines for a time, afterwards settling on a farm near Madison, 
Yolo County. In 1871 he came to what was old Colusa County, 
bought some railroad land, and began developing a ranch; but 
finding that he could not get title to the land, he then moved into 
Tehama County, where he became a large grain-raiser. He finally 
gave up farming, and made one or two trips back to Nebraska, 
after which he came to Elk Creek and there made his home. His 
last days were spent with his daughter, at whose home he died in 
1913, at the age of eighty-one years. Mrs. Sehorn 's mother was 
Ellen Hubbard Cook, a woman widely known among the pioneers 
of Glenn and Colusa Counties for the many charitable and kindly 
services rendered to her neighbors in time of trouble and sickness. 
She was teaching school at the time of her marriage to Mr. Keith ; 
and afterwards she acted as a correspondent to the local papers. 
She passed away in 1888. Four children were born to Mr. and 


Mrs. Seborn. Leslie is married and has one daughter; Marion is 
Mrs. H. J. De Tray, and is the mother of one daughter ; Vivian is 
the wife of Theodore Kreiberg; and Cathy M., Jr., is employed by 
Klemuier Bros., in the hardware store at Willows. 

It was about tive years prior to the time of Mr. Seborn 's 
death that Mr. and Mrs. Sehorn began the dairy business, furnish- 
ing milk to customers in Willows. Mrs. Sehorn has forty Holstein 
and Jersey cows, of high grade and well cared for, which are 
milked with automatic milking-machines. This dairy was the tirst 
in this section to use clarifying processes, and also the first to sub- 
mit to the tuberculin test. With the assistance of her son-in-law, 
Mr. Kreiberg, Mrs. Sehorn is making a marked success of this 
part of her ranching enterprise. 


A California pioneer of 1849, the late W. P. Harrington was 
the leading citizen of Colusa during the thirty-three years of his 
residence there. He was the pioneer banker, merchant, and rail- 
road builder, and was universally loved for his public spirit and 
generosity of heart. He was born in Damariscotta, Maine, on 
April 17, 1826, and received his education in Lincoln Academy at 
New Castle, after which he hired out as a clerk in a store in Rock- 
land. On March 4, 1849, when nearly twenty -three, Mr. Harring- 
ton started for California by way of Panama, with a party of thir- 
teen others. On reaching the Isthmus, they found that there were 
fully four thousand persons waiting to get transportation to San 
B^rancisco. His party separated, but he organized another which 
was successful in getting through; and he arrived in San Fran- 
cisco on August 1, of that year. He at once set out for the mines 
at Big Bar, on the Consumnes River, and spent three months at 
placer mining. He was soon convinced that his forte lay in some 
other direction; so he went to Placerville, where he was given 
management of a general merchandise store for a time. In the 
fall of 1850 he opened a store for himself; but the excessive 
drought that year caused a scarcity of water, and mining could not 
be carried on except at heavy expense. So he quit business and 
went to Marysville; and there he engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness under the name of Crockett and Co., the firm later becoming 
Harrington and Hazelton. 

In 1859 a larger field opened up in the mining regions of Ne- 
vada; and with J. C. Fall, J. A. Paxton, Judge Mott and James 


Wilson, he chartered a stage and visited Carson City, Virginia 
City, Gold Hill and other mining camps. All were impressed with 
the magnitude of the mineral resources of these places; and a 
partnershijD was formed by Mr. Harrington, under the name of J. 
C. Fall & Co., and a general merchandise business was carried on 
at Carson City, with considerable success. The firm later became 
Kincaid & Harrington, and then Kincaid, Harrington & Co. Dur- 
ing this time Mr. Harrington was a member of the first legislature 
of Nevada Territory, which met in 1861. 

After he retired from business in Nevada, Mr. Harrington 
came to San Francisco and became a stock broker. His attention 
was soon called to Colusa County, where the public lands were be- 
ing taken up by capitalists; and in 1869, in behalf of Decker & 
Jewett, he came to Colusa to view, grade and purchase lands. He 
remained six weeks, and was so much impressed with the natural 
resources of the county that he disposed of his business in San 
Francisco and the next spring came to Colusa to make it his per- 
manent home. He first engaged in the real estate business with 
"\V. F. Goad, and during that summer sold about one hundred thou- 
sand acres of land. On September 15, 1870, with others, he organ- 
ized the Colusa County Bank. Without solicitation, he was tend- 
ered the position of cashier ; and from that time until his death he 
was one of the bank's principal factors, having been a director, 
and its president at the time of his death. He also held the same 
position in the Bank of Willows and in the Colusa and Lake Eail- 
road, and was a director of the Colusa Gas Co., the Colusa Milling 
Co., the Colusa Packing Co., and the Colusa AgriciTltural Associa- 
tion. He was a member of the Pacific Union Club and of the So- 
ciety of California Pioneers, being vice-president of the latter at 
the time of his death, on November 30, 1903. No more fitting trib- 
ute can be paid to his memory than the opinions of his associates 
and friends, who unite in saying that he was a conservative 
banker, one of the first men of Colusa County, and one of the up- 
builders of the Sacramento Valley. 

On May 1, 1861, W. P. Harrington was united in marriage 
with Sallie H. Tennent, a daughter of John Tennent of Marysville, 
and a native of Lancaster, Ohio. They had five children, one of 
whom died in infancy. The others are: Tennent, born July 11, 
1864; William Merrill, teller of the Colusa County Bank, born No- 
vember 18, 1866 ; Mary Augusta, born April 7, 1869, the wife of 
A. P. Niblack, captain in the United States Navy; and Louise T., 
born February 15, 1876, the wife of W. D. Leahy, lieutenant-com- 
mander in the United States Navy. 



Among those who coutribiited no little to the welfare of Wil- 
lows by helping to make and to keep people well and happy, 
Dr. Francis X. Tremblay will always enjoy an honored place. A 
native of Quebec, Canada, where he was born on June 12, 1856, 
the son of one of Quebec's well-known laymen, John B. Tremblay, 
Francis X. Tremblay was reared and educated in his home town, 
where he concluded his studies in the State Normal, preparatory 
to specializing at the Victoria Medical College, in Montreal, from 
which he was graduated in 1885. 

After receiving his diploma from that famous Canadian insti- 
tution. Dr. Tremblay came direct to California, and at Willows be- 
gan the practice of medicine. A close student, and energetic and 
ambitious by nature, he has spared neither time nor effort to make 
himself a recognized authority on medical subjects among his pro- 
fessional brethren. He is a valued member of the Glenn County 
Medical Society. His constantly increasing practice has taken him 
into practically every section of Glemi County, as well as to parts 
of Colusa and Tehama Counties. He has made a name for himself 
as one of the most active and progressive members of the medical 
profession in his section of the state. As a public officer he has 
served a term in the office of county coroner and public adminis- 
trator; two terms as one of the town trustees, being president of 
the board one term; and also a term as health officer of Willows. 

Soon after the arrival of Dr. Tremblay in Willows, he bought 
a piece of land in the southern part of the town and erected for 
himself a fine Ijrick and stone residence, around which he planted 
a varied orchard of orange, lemon, olive and walnut trees. To 
these he has given the most painstaking attention, testing each in 
respect to its growth in this climate and soil. He was among the 
very first to experiment with fruits of this character in this sec- 
tion. Adjoining his home, also, he acquired an acre of ground 
planted with eucalyptus trees ; and not far away on the hills he 
has set out four hundred olive trees, this being the first attempt at 
olive culture in Glenn County. 

In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Tremblay has 
participated to some extent in real estate development. He has 
erected five houses in Wi-llows, all of which he has sold. He 
was one of the owners and developers of a chrome mine between 
Newville and Elk Creek, Glenn County, which was later sold. He 
is now interested in a manganese mine located near Stonyford, 
and also in very promising gold-mining claims in Plumas County. 


In 1911, Dr. Tremblay retired to private life ou account of ill 
health, caused by long rides in all kinds of weather to minister to 
the sick, for he never gave a thought to self when so called. In- 
stead of spending his time in his home and with his books, he 
wanted to get next to nature, and in consequence gave his time to 
prospecting the hills of this section with the result mentioned 
above. When he recovers his health it is his intention to once 
more take up his profession, but along different and broader lines. 
Two daughters were born into the home of Dr. Tremblay. 
One is Mrs. Theolesca Hedden, who resides in Napa, Cal. She has 
three children, Theodore, Marie Wuellesca, and Francis. The 
other daughter, Xavia Tremblay, is a resident of San Francisco. 
Dr. Tremblay is a member of Chico Lodge, B. P. 0. Elks. He is 
accorded a high place in the citizenship of his adopted city. 


A man of wide knowledge in all branches of medical science, 
and a graduate of several colleges in his pursuit of a thorough 
preparation for his chosen profession, Dr. William F. Harlan, the 
well-known physician and surgeon of Arbuckle, Colusa County, is 
winning for himself a prominent place among the medical men of 
the county. A native of Wetzel County, W. Va., where he was born 
on November 12, 1875, Dr. Harlan was raised on a farm and 
received his preliminary education in the local schools, after which 
he clerked in a store at Littleton, the same state, until 1901. 

It was at this stage in his career that he decided to prepare 
himself for the medical profession and began the study of Oste- 
opathy. Going to Kirksville, Mo., he took a course in the Ameri- 
can School of Osteopathy, graduating in 1904 with the degree of 
D. 0. Following his graduation he located in Grand Forks, N. D., 
and practiced there until 1911. While practicing in North Dakota, 
he went, in 1906, to Battle Creek, Mich., and took a course under 
Dr. Kellogg in Hydrotherapy ; and in 1908, he pursued a postgrad- 
uate course at the American School of Osteopathy, his Alma Ma- 
ter. In 1911 he came to Arbuckle, Colusa County, to retire from 
active practice. Here Dr. Harlan purchased a twenty-acre ranch 
south of town and engaged in horticulture. He set out almonds on 
the acreage, built a home, and settled down to enjoy the peaceful 
life of a rancher. But the lure of further study proved too great, 
and in 1915 he went to Los Angeles and took a course at the Pa- 
cific Medical College, graduating that same year with the degree 
of M. D. He also took a postgraduate course at the Osteopathic 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, in that city. 

!l^^^^U^-,;>~~^C^r^-^^ / /^,^^^'^^^M^ Ut, 


Completing his studies in Los Angeles, Dr. Harlan returned 
to Arlnickle ; and in June, 1916, he opened his present offices in the 
Ash Hotel. These are fully equipped, including an operating 
room fitted up with all the modern conveniences for operating. Dr. 
Harlan is specializing in ear, nose and throat troubles. He is 
meeting with a success made possible by his recognized profes- 
sional skill, and by his intimate knowledge of the most recent dis- 
coveries in medical science, supplemented by years of searching 
study along both general and special lines. His practice is not 
confined to Colusa County, but extends into the different counties 
of the Sacramento Valley. 

While in North Dakota, Dr. Harlan was president of the State 
Osteopathic Society for two years, and the next two years was a 
memlier of the executive committee of that body. Fraternally, he 
is an Elk, a member of Marysville Lodge, No. 783; and an Odd 
Fellow, a member of the Grand Forks (N. D.) Lodge, No. 4, I. 0. 
0. F., and of the Eucamjjment at Arlmckle. 

Dr. "William F. Harlan was united in marriage with Leona 
Yale, a native of North Dakota. They are the parents of three 
children: Virgil, Gertrude, and Melvin V. 


The native ability, tact and consequent enterprise and amlii- 
tion of the Argonaut are reflected in the professional advance and 
financial success made by Dr. T. T. Purkitt, a member of one of 
the most prominent families of the state, and the daughter of John 
R. Tiffee, of whom mention is made on another page of this volume. 
Theodora Tiffee was born in Petaluma, Sonoma County, but was 
reared in Glenn County, where she attended the public schools. 
Later she took a course at the Sacramento Seminary. On April 
28, 1873, she was imited in marriage with George H. Purkitt, a 
civil engineer. He was a native of Illinois, and had come to Cali- 
fornia as a young man, where he followed his profession and 
served for several terms as surveyor of Colusa County. 

Mrs. Purkitt had been reared on her father's ranch, and was 
very much interested in the various branches of agriculture and 
stock-raising. After her marriage she devoted some of her time 
and attention to pioneer experiments in the raising of fruits, as 
early as 1877, setting out an orchard of a variety of fruits, which 
she cared for so well that the fruit from her trees was considered 
the finest grown in the valley. Her experiments with deciduous 
fruits in those early days were an aid to many in their suljsequent 
choice for planting in their orchards. 


After living on a ranch for several years, Mrs. Purkitt de- 
cided to take up the study of medicine ; and having sold the ranch 
she removed to Willows. Soon afterward, she entered the Cooper 
Medical College, San Francisco, and in 1894 she was graduated 
with the degree of M. D., receiving the highest honors. She began 
her practice in Willows ; and here she has since resided, an hon- 
ored member of the State Medical Association, and a contributor 
to the State Medical Journal. Dr. Purkitt has the distinction of 
being one of the first woman physicians in the Sacramento Valley. 
While devoted to her profession, she has not lost her love of the 
country life in which she was reared, but has kept her interest 
in the raising of live stock, and in agriculture and horticulture, 
on land she has purchased in the county. She has developed fine 
fields of alfalfa and rice ; has set out fig trees, and eucalyptus trees ; 
and raises high-grade Holstein and Jersey cattle, and Berk- 
shire hogs that are prize-winners. She loves nature, and takes de- 
light in seeing trees, vines and flowers grow and flourish, to beau- 
tify the homes throughout city and country. Her home at 444 
West Sycamore Street is one of -the most comfortable in the city, 
the yard being replete with all kinds of trees and flowers. She is 
liberal and enterprising, always willing to aid those less fortunate 
than herself ; and many are the men and women who have received 
benefactions at her hands, as well as encouragement to make an- 
other attempt to overcome the obstacles that seem to confront 
them in their road to success. 

Dr. Purkitt is the mother of six children. Her eldest son, 
Herbert T., is now deceased ; Claude F., a prominent attorney of 
Willows, is State Senator from the Fourth District in California ; 
Theodore T., who married Miss Minnie Hume, of Redding, is pro- 
prietor of a pharmacy and lives in Woodland ; Edna Louisa is the 
wife of J. E. Knight, of Willows; Georgie Harriett became the 
wife of Homer Henley of San Francisco ; and Eebecca T. married 
Charles Lambert, Jr., of Willows. Dr. Purkitt saw that her chil- 
dren all received a good education; the daughters all graduated 
from Mt. St. Gertrude's Academy at Rio Vista, and were popular 
and successful teachers in the schools of Glenn County before 
their marriage. All this has been the result of her personal 
efforts; and she is proud of her children's standing in the county 
where their lives have been spent. There has been no project ad- 
vanced in the county for bettering the condition of the people, or 
for the development of the county, with a view to making of it a 
better place in which to live, that has not had the hearty coopera- 
tion of Dr. Purkitt ; and she has often taken the lead in such move- 
ments. There is no one in her community that is more imiversally 
loved and respected than is she. 



The Ware family is of New England stock, and became estab- 
lished in California at an early period in the history of the state. 
George W. Ware, who was born in Penfield, N. Y., in 1832, came to 
California by way of Panama in 1852, and settled in Colusa. He 
established a general merchandise store with his brother-in-law, 
under the firm name of Case & Ware, of which he became sole 
owner some years later. As his business grew, the demand for 
more room necessitated his erecting a new building ; and he put up 
the second brick building in the county, opposite the old Colusa 
House. For more than thirty-one years he conducted business in 
the town. During that time jieople came from all parts of the 
county to trade with him ; for he was noted for his reliability and 
honesty, and made warm friends among his customers. In 1868 he 
began to buy land and devote it to grain and stock-raising, adding 
to his first purchase until he had over four thousand acres. His 
estate was the result of his own industry, for he had no assistance 
in any way. Some years after locating in Colusa George W. Ware 
married Mary A. Corwin, who was born in Quincy, 111., and came 
across the plains to California in 1853, with her parents and other 
members of their family. Her father, Elisha Corwin, settled in 
Marysville and followed the carpenter's trade for several years, 
later removing to Colusa, where he died. Of the marriage of Mr. 
and Mrs. Ware six children were born, of whom three are living: 
Mrs. Alice Bedell, of Redwood City; George A., of this review; 
and Mrs. Mary E. Drake, of New York City. Mr. Ware died in 
1884, while on a visit to San Francisco, at the age of fifty-three 
years. After his death, his widow remained in Colusa until 1891, 
when she went to San Francisco to make her home. She passed 
away on June 6, 1917, at the age of eighty-two. Her remains were 
laid beside those of her husband, at Colusa. 

The only living son of his parents, George A. Ware was born 
in Colusa, November 27, 1868. He attended the public schools of 
the town; and when he was old enough, he went to work on the 
home ranch. Later, with a partner, J. C. Bedell, he began opera- 
tions on the Ware estate, southeast of Williams. In 1892 he 
bought out his partner ; and ever since then he has been operating 
alone. He has seven hundred acres in grain, and five hundred 
acres seeded to alfalfa. He raises from seven to nine tons of al- 
falfa to the acre without irrigation, making four or five cuttings 
annually. He holds the record in the state for unirrigated alfalfa. 
His srain land vields from fifteen to twenty-five sacks to the acre. 


on au average. Mr. "Ware is breeding up a fine herd of thorough- 
bred Holsteins, principally dairy cows. He makes a specialty of 
raising mules ; and many valuable animals have been sold from his 
ranch. He also raises some hogs. He is known all over Northern 
California as a leading farmer and stockman. Mr. Ware has a 
real estate office in Williams, where he is active in subdivision 
work. He is selling off the Gauthier tract of six hundred forty 
acres near Williams. He is identified, also, with the oil interests 
of the state, as president of the Williams Oil Co. 

Mr. Ware was married in Oakland, in 1891, to Miss Alexine G. 
Fairbairn, who was born in Chico. Her father was Rev. Alexan- 
der Fairbairu, a native of Scotland. He was a graduate of Prince- 
ton University, and a Presbyterian divine. Her mother was Helen 
M. Edwards, of New York, who died in Colusa, in 1884. The 
father died in Williams. Mrs. Ware was a lady of culture and re- 
finement. While raised in the Presbyterian Church, she was a 
member of the Methodist Church with Mr. Ware and their family. 
She died in Woodland, April 17, 1916, leaving three children: 
Helen M., the wife of W. R. Meyer, of Redwood City; Alexiue 
Gertrude; and George Fairbairn, who is with his father on the 
ranch. Mr. Ware is public-spirited, actively supporting all meas- 
ures for the good of his county, and is firmly convinced that there 
is a great future in store for this section of the state when its pos- 
sibilities have been fully made known. Politically, he is a stanch 
supporter of Republican men and measures. Fraternally, he is a 
member and Past Master of Tuscan Lodge, No. 261, F. & A. M., 
of Williams. 


When it conies to talking of the pioneer days of '49, then 
William Frank Miller, the iiopular merchant of Butte City, Glenn 
County, will have a story to tell, and one that is always worth 
hearing. He was born in Anderson County, Ky., April 1.3, 1848, 
the son of Marshall and Amanda (Walker) Miller, both natives of 
the sunny South, who came to California in 1849, crossing the 
plains with an ox-team train of emigrants. Soon after their 
arrival the father began to operate a ferry between Fremont and 
Vernon, and it was here that his good wife died. She is buried at 
the latter place. After his wife's death the father then went to 
Nevada County and became one of the pioneer merchants of that 
county, being located at Nevada City, or in the vicinity of that 
place, at a settlement known as Coyoteville. He died there in 1859. 


It was while living in Nevada City that W. Frank and his 
brother, Merritt H. Miller, had a narrow escape from death. The 
incident is worthy of record, for Providence certainly interceded 
in behalf of the future merchant of Glenn County. The home of 
the Miller family, for his father had married again, was one of 
the ijioneer structures of that day in the mining camps. Near b}^ 
stood a large dead pine tree that threatened to fall and crush the 
building. One night the parents heard a creaking of the tree dur- 
ing a strong wind; and before the crash came that would have 
crushed the two boys asleep in their bed, they dragged them away 
from danger just as the tree fell across the bed where the boys 
had been sleeping but a moment before. 

W. Frank was in his twelfth year when his father died. He 
was thus left to shift for himself at an age when most boys are 
considered helpless and entirely dependent. His schooling was 
very limited. His education has been acquired largely b.y elbow- 
ing the rough edges of the world, and his diploma came from the 
"College of Hard Knocks." He is a pioneer, and the. son of a 
pioneer; and he had the usual experiences of the pioneer's off- 
spring. Ever since he was twelve he has made his own way in the 
world, so that whatever he has accomplished is due entirely to 
his own indefatigable exertions in self-reliantly following a defi- 
nite course. 

He worked in the mines in Nevada County, and then went to 
Virginia City, in Nevada, where he mined for a time, mingling 
with men of every description. Afterwards he worked at various 
kinds of employment to make a living. He returned to California, 
and for a time was employed on ranches in Colusa County. In 
1863, he settled in what is now a part of Glenn County, and there 
farmed on his own responsibility until the public lands came into 
the market, when he preempted a tract near the present site of 
Butte City. Later, with his brother, Merritt H., for a partner, he 
carried on a grain ranch southeast of that place and made a stake, 
so that he was enabled to open a store. This was in 1873, when, 
with a ijartner, he opened one of the first stores in the little settle- 
ment. Starting on a very small scale and in a very small building, 
the firm of Miller and Eyan began to do a flourishing business. 
Ever since the opening of the establishment, Mr. Miller has been 
connected with the business, although several partners have been 
associated with him at various times. The name of W. Frank 
Miller & Co. has long stood for reliability, and the business has 
grown to large proportions with the settling up of the country 
round about. Branch stores have been opened at Princeton and 
at Glenn, and a large and varied general stock of merchandise is 
alwavs to be found in their stores. 


The pioneer spirit of this worthy man was again demon- 
strated when he went to the Klondike at the time of the gold 
excitement in Alaska; bnt he did not find it attractive enough to 
stay longer than two years, at the end of which time he returned 
to his California home. Ever since, he has been a familiar figure in 
Colusa and Glenn Counties. 

As might be expected of a man who has met with success in 
his various undertakings, Mr. Miller has been prominent in public 
life. He is a loyal Democrat, and has served as a member of the 
County Central Committee for many years, and as a delegate to 
both state and county conventions. He was a member of the 
board of supervisors of Glenn County after the division was made, 
filling the office two terms with satisfaction to all his friends, for 
he served the whole people with impartiality. For twenty years 
he was postmaster of Butte City, and for a like period was agent 
for Wells-Fargo Express Co. He was one of the organizers of 
the Butte City school district, and has been a member of the board 
of trustees ever since its organization. No more public-spirited 
man can be found in Glenn County than W. Frank Miller. 

On September 29, 1869, William Frank Miller was united in 
marriage with Miss Elizabeth Eantz, a native _ of Illinois, who 
crossed the plains to California with her parents in 1850, behind 
the slow-moving oxen. Of this marriage nine children were born, 
six of whom are still living. The oldest daughter is Mrs. Effie 
Frances Wylie, of Corning, and she has three children. Mrs. Lena 
Barham is the second daughter, and she has two sons and a daugh- 
ter. Mrs. Gloria May Bondurant has one daughter and two sons, 
twins. Alice D. is the fourth daughter, and married Charles Han- 
son ; and Mrs. Achsah Moler, of Sacramento, is next to the youngest. 
Miss William Franklin Miller, Jr., or "Frankie," as she is known to 
her friends, is the youngest member of the Miller household, and 
her father's namesake. The other children died in infancy and 
early childhood. Mrs. Miller passed away on September 11, 1914, 
one day less than sixty-four years of age, mourned by her family 
and a very large circle of friends. The family are members of the 
Christian Church of Butte City. Mr. Miller is a Knight Templar 
Mason, and belongs to the Independent Order of Foresters, being 
a charter member of Butte City Lodge, in which he was the first 
Past Chief Eanger. He is known far and wide throughout the 
Sacramento Valley as a man whose word is as good as his bond, a 
tribute paid to comparatively few men. 



The pioneer shoe dealer of Orland is John Mehl, who has 
been a resident of California since 1873, when he arrived in 
Marysville, a youth of seventeen. He was born in Baden, Ger- 
many, and ujD to the age of sixteen attended the schools of that 
country, gaining a good knowledge of the common branches of 
education. During his last year in his native land, it was arranged 
that he should go to America to join Charles Mehl, an uncle, 
located in California and engaged in the bakery business at 
Marysville. Accordingly, he boarded a vessel for New York, and 
on his arrival came direct to Marysville, where he worked about 
a year for his uncle. He was very much dissatisfied with his 
environments, however, and did not like the bakery business; so 
he left there and went to Colusa. There he served a three-year 
apprenticeship with Benjamin Bropst, learning the trade of shoe- 
maker. After he had mastered the trade, he worked for one year 
in Yuba City and three months in Red Bluff. He then came to 
Williams, Colusa Count}', and worked one year for Samuel Wild. 
Some time later he bought out Mr. Wild's business, forming a 
partnershii) with Otto Lunz, and carried on a shoe shop with 
growing success. They opened a branch store in Orland, in 
August, 1882, when the railroad was built to that town; and 
since then Mr. Mehl has been in the shoe business in Orland. His 
partner died in 1883, and their interests were then divided. 

There is not a man doing business in Orland today whose 
connection with the commercial interests of the place dates back 
to the time of Mr. Mehl's arrival. In point of service, therefore, 
he is the oldest merchant in the town. The first year he had a 
small shop on Fifth Street. He then moved to his present location 
on Fourth Street, where he had a modern front jjut on his 
original store. He carries a full line of both dress shoes and 
serviceable shoes, in all sizes, for men, women and children, and 
also does a general repair business. Besides his place of business, 
he owns a comfortable home in Orland ; and he has taken an active 
interest in every movement that has been put forward to build up 
the town. There were only five stores in the town when he started 
his establishment ; and all the development of this section has been 
witnessed by this pioneer merchant. 

Mr. Mehl has been twice married. His first wife was Esther 
E. Birch, born in Illinois, by whom he had three children : Bern- 
hard L., a graduate of the University of California and now a 


civil eugiueer in Sau Francisco; Flora, the wife of W. H. New- 
house; and Eoss B., wlio assists his fatlier in the store. His 
second marriage united him with Emily Brooks, also born in 
Illinois, and a lady of culture and refinement. Mrs. Mehl is a 
prominent member of the Eebekahs. She has passed all the 
chairs of the order, and attended the Grand Lodge in San Diego. 
Mr. Mehl is a member of Stony Creek Lodge, No. 218, I. O. 0. F., 
of Orlaud. He has served as treasurer of the lodge for twenty 
years ; and he attended the Grand Lodge in San Francisco. He is 
a charter member of the Encamijment and also of the Eebekahs. 
As a man and citizen, Mr. Mehl has a high standing in Orland, 
where lie is looked to for cooperation with every public move- 
ment for the betterment of the community. He is a member of 
the Lutheran Church. 


No one knows better than the merchant or farmer living in or 
near a live, growing town, what an important and absolutely es- 
sential part a bank plays, and must play, in the growth of the com- 
munity — a fact likely to be quickly appreciated by any one who 
will remain for a while at W^illows, and note the flow of commer- 
cial and financial life through the daily transactions of the Bank 
of Willows. In 1876, W. C. Murdock and B. Marshall established 
a private bank under the firm name of W. C. Murdock & Co. ; and 
on September 2, 1880, it was converted by Mr. Murdock and N. D. 
Eideout into the incorporated Bank of Willows, with a capital of 
two hundred thousand dollars. The president was Mr. Eideout; 
the vice-president, A. A. Jackson; and the cashier, Mr. Murdock; 
and in September, 1881, P. H. Green became assistant cashier. 

In April, 1889, the controlling interest was sold to stockhold- 
ers of Colusa County Bank, the new officers of which were William 
P. Harrington, president; Milton French, vice-president; B. H. 
Burton, cashier; and P. H. Green, assistant cashier. On January 
1, 1904, Mr. Burton became president; Milton French, vice-presi*- 
dent; and Mr. Green, cashier; while C. E. Wickes succeeded Mr. 
Green as assistant cashier. The personnel of the bank has since 
continued the same, except that, on the death of Milton French, 
Frank Moody succeeded him as vice-president, in January, 1917. 

The bank now has a commercial department with a paid-up 
capital of three hundred thousand dollars and a surplus of two 
hundred thousand dollars, and a newly established savings depart- 
ment with a paid-up capital of fifty thousand dollars. The assets 
of the bank have now reached a total of one million, three hundred 



twenty-six thousand, nine hundred sixty-four dollars. Thus, the 
stability of the bank and the conservative policy of its officers have 
gained the entire confidence of the people, to such an extent that it 
has by far the largest deposits of any bank in the county. The 
bank's old home was in their old building on the southwest corner 
of Walnut and Tehama Streets until in 1911, when they moved 
across the street into the present substantial modern fire-proof 
building erected of granite and Utah white stone, one of the most 
beautiful buildings that adorn the town. 


In the life of this successful banker of Willows are illustrated 
the results of perseverance and energy. He is a citizen of whom 
any community might well feel proud, and the people of Glenn 
County accord him a place in the foremost ranks of the represent- 
ative business men. Identified with the history of Glenn County 
from its beginning, he has witnessed its gradual growth, the devel- 
opment of its commercial interests, and the increase of population 
by the removal hither of men of enterprise, intelligence and high 
standing. No better name could be selected to suggest the com- 
mercial soundness and the financial stability of Willows than its 
far-seeing and enterprising banker. Parley H. Green. He was 
born at Fort Wayne, Ind., March 25, 1855, a son of Corydou and 
Sarah (Huss) Green, both natives of Ohio and descended from old 
New England stock. He is also a lineal descendant of Gen. Joseph 
Warren, killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Corydon Green was 
a grain buyer and a well-kuown business man of Fort Wayne. 

It has meant a good deal to manj^ Americans to have been 
born in the Hoosier State, and Parley H. Green made the most of 
his boyhood there. He was educated in the grammar and high 
schools of his native city, after which he chose as his profession 
the work of an accountant. In 1877 he came to California, and for 
a time was in the employ of the Sweepstake Plow Co., at San 
Leandro. Two years later he removed to Colusa County, and here 
entered the employ of his uncle, Warren Green, who was engaged 
in the sheep business. Three years later he accepted a position as 
an accountant in the Benicia Agricultural Works in Benicia, contin- 
uing there until 1881, when he resigned to enter the Bank of Wil- 
lows as assistant cashier. 

When B. II. Burton was elected president of the bank in 1904, 
Mr. Green was made cashier, a position he now holds. He is one 
of the best-known bankers in Northern California, and his record 


of more than thirty-six years in this one bank is something to be 
proud of. He is now the oldest director of the bank, in point of 
service, having been elected a director on January 15, 1885, and 
having served continuously ever since. He is one of the directors 
of the First National Bank of Willows, and of the Bank of Prince- 
ton, which was organized by Colusa and Willows capitalists; and 
he has been a director and secretary of the Willows Warehouse 
Association since 1883. Besides these varied interests, Mr. Green 
has been active in the affairs of the county and of Northern Cali- 
fornia in general. 

The agricultural interests of Mr. Green are large, including a 
stock ranch of over eleven thousand acres in the foothills and 
mountains west of Willows. His ranches support over eleven hun- 
dred head of full-blooded and graded Durham cattle, which are 
grazed on the mountain ranges in the summer, and in the fall are 
brought down to the foothill and valley ranches. Those ready for 
beef are marketed each spring. 

Mr. Green chose for his partner in life Miss Mary Augusta 
Knight, a native of Michigan. They were married in Sonoma 
County in 1898. Mrs. Green is an active participant in social, re- 
ligious and civic affairs in Willows; and like her husband she 
has proven a positive factor in the welfare and progress of the 


Two notable pioneer families are represented in the life story 
of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Curl Stovall. Mr. Stovall was born in 
Rutherford County, Tenn., on January 19, 1822, a son of William 
Preston Stovall, a farmer of that state, who removed to Missouri 
and settled in Carroll County, where he prospered as an agricul- 
turist imtil his death. William Stovall 's wife was Mary Drake, 
before her marriage. She also passed away in Missouri. The old- 
est in a family of two sons and two daughters, Jesse Stovall grew 
up to manhood on his father's farm in Missouri, meanwhile re- 
ceiving such instruction as was possible in private schools sup- 
ported by his father and other neighbors. Until 1850, he was en- 
gaged in farming and in running a flour mill at CarroUton, Mo. 
That year, Mr. Stovall set out as a member of an ox-team train, 
to cross the plains to the Pacific Coast. He imderwent the usual 
hardships, braving the dangers incidental to that adventurous un- 
dertaking, and arrived safely in Placer County. There he mined 
for a year, and then threw aside the pickaxe and shovel because 
failing health warned him of the necessity of a change. At Sacra- 


mento lie took up freighting aud teaming ; but soon after, he went 
to Cache Creek, Yolo County, where, with Jefferson Wilcoxson, be 
began to raise sheep, cattle and horses. Experience showed, how- 
ever, that their range was insufficient; and so they drove their 
stock into Colusa County, where they bought government land, 
and added as fast as possible to what herds they possessed. In 
1858 they purchased one hundred sixtj' acres, long the old home 
place of the Stovalls, situated some seven miles west of Williams ; 
and this formed the beginning of the great area — a range of some 
forty thousand acres — which the partners acquired and continued 
to hold, their partnership lasting throughout their life. In 1890, . 
the enterprising ranchmen incorporated their interests under the 
firm name of the Stovall-Wilcoxson Co., of which Mr. Stovall be- 
came president ; and for years the sheep-raising operations of this 
company were among the most extensive on the Coast. They 
sometimes owned as many as ten thousand head. Economic and 
other conditions, however, operated to make the enterprise less 
profitable than it had been; and the Stovall-Wilcoxson Co. then 
sold most of their flocks, or exchanged them for cattle and hogs, 
and went in for the raising of grain. The company also erected a 
flour mill and put up warehouses at Williams, where they carried on 
a live grain business. 

Decidedly a prominent factor in the promotion aud upbuilding 
of almost every worthy interest here, the late Mr. Stovall was the 
organizer of the Bank of Williams, and served as its president 
until his death, on November 19, 1902. His active participation in 
the fraternal life of the Odd Fellows contributed to his popularity 
in social circles; while his energetic support of Democratic doc- 
trines and policies brought him before the public and enabled him 
to extend his range of influence. 

In the old town of Sonoma, the scene of the raising of the 
"Bear Flag," Jesse Stovall was married on March 3, 1859, to 
Miss Mary E. Moore, a native of Monroe County, Mo., and a 
daughter of Eobert Moore, who was born in Kentucky. The fam- 
ily was originally of Virginia, where the grandfather, Travis 
Moore, was a farmer until his migration to the Blue Grass State, 
and then to Missouri, where he was engaged as a farmer till his 
death. Robert Moore also followed the life of a farmer, remaining 
in Missouri imtil 1853, when he rigged up a comfortable prairie 
schooner for his family, which then consisted of his wife and seven 
children, and crossed the wide plains to California. Leaving home 
on April 19, the train traveled along the Carson route to Eldorado 
County, and on September 19 reached Gold Hill — historic ground, 
for in that locality was the spot where gold was first discovered at 
Colonel Sutter's mill. Although there was but a small party in 


the train, loaded on to seven wagons, the emigrants had come 
through safely after exactly five months of trying experiences on 
the road. At Gold Hill, Mr. Moore stopped for a year to try his 
luck at mining. He then located further down in the Sacramento 
Valley, on the Norris grant, but later removed to Sonoma, where 
he bought and improved a fine farm, engaging in both general 
farming and horticulture. Later still, he removed to Hollister, 
San Benito County; and there his death occurred at the age of 
seventy-four years. He had been a consistent member of the Pres- 
byterian Church, and was no less a faithful Odd Fellow. 

Mrs. Moore was equally well connected. Before her marriage 
she was known as Lucilla Sproul, a daughter of William Sproul, 
who moved from Kentucky, where she was born, to Missouri, and 
there farmed until his death. His wife was Sarah Davis, a cousin 
of Jefferson Davis, Ex-President of the Confederacy. They, too, 
were valued members of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Moore 
died at Santa Ana, the mother of nine children, of whom four sons 
and three daughters are still living. Among these is Mrs. Stovall, 
who spent her thirteenth birthday on the plains, en route for 
her new home in California, and who, during her first year in Cal- 
ifornia, at Gold Hill, frequently visited the place where gold was 
first discovered- by John Marshall, at Sutter's Fort. She was edu- 
cated principally in the public schools at Sacramento and Sonoma, 
and had the satisfaction of being married in her father's home. 

When Mrs. Stovall settled on the ranch west of Williams with 
her husband, in 1859, conditions were indeed primitive. Wild 
cattle roamed the plains, for there were no fences. Colusa was the 
nearest trading point. The old home place was a bare field, very 
different from the acreage now covered with large shade trees. 
For the first twelve years they lived in a small house. Later a 
modern residence, of one and one-half stories, was erected; and, 
little by little, orange and lemon trees, as well as other fruit trees 
and bushes, were set out. Today, the largest orange, lemon and 
fig trees in the countj' are to be found on the ranch. Mrs. Stovall 
has thus been a witness to all the changes that have taken place. 
Since the death of her husband in 1902, she has made her home 
in Williams. She is a member of the Wednesday Club and the 
Eed Cross Society of W^illiams, and a communicant of the Presby- 
terian Church. She is a woman of sterling character and winsome 
personality, who imparts to others some of the cheerfulness and 
inspiration which have brightened her own life. 

Among the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Stovall are Corde- 
lia, who became the wife of Eeuben Clarke, and died near Wil- 
liams ; Mary, who died at the age of thirteen years ; William Pres-. 
ton, who died at the age of twenty-nine years ; Jesse, who accident- 


ally shot himself while Imnting, at ten years of age; James M., 
cashier at the Bank of Williams ; H. Cnrl, manager of the Stovall- 
AVilcoxson Co. ; Charles E., who was accidentally killed by being 
thrown from his horse; and Mabel, the wife of E. A. Brim, a 
rancher near Williams. Among the pioneers of California, Mr. 
and Mrs. Jesse Curl Stovall well deserve a place. 


A native of Bucyrus, Ohio, Mrs. Sarah Cary Williams was 
liorn on January 27, 1832, a daughter of Aaron and Phoebe 
(Thompson) Cary. She was reared in the states of Ohio and In- 
diana, her parents settling in the latter state, at Greenfield, La 
Grange County, in her early childhood. She was the youngest of 
a large family of children, and in 1858 came with her sister, Jane 
W., to California, by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Upon their 
arrival they at once located in Colusa, where, on March 13, 1860, 
Sarah was united in marriage with W. H. Williams. He was a 
native of Maryland, and was the founder of the town of Williams, 
Colusa County, Cal. Thus, Mrs. Williams became the first lady of 
the town, where she resided until the time of her demise. She was 
one of the pioneers who shared the dangers and hardships which 
accompany the founding of a new commonwealth ; and she gave to 
the task the influence of her upright life, conscientious fulfillment 
of duty and uncomplaining courage. 

When Mrs. Williams and her husband first settled in Wil- 
liams, they were surrounded by broad prairie lands. Their house 
was the only one in the vicinity. This was destroyed by fire a 
little later, and was rebuilt of brick hauled from Marysville, a dis- 
tance of thirty-six miles. The new house served as a hotel until 
another brick building was erected. Mrs. Williams could recall a 
five-mile stretch of water which, during the early days before the 
levees were built, lay between Williams and Colusa, a town ten 
miles distant, and over which passage had to be made in a boat 
during the time of high water. In July, 1876, the railroad was put 
through, and the town of Williams was laid out and founded. 

Although lacking in physical strength, Mrs. Sarah Williams 
was gifted with an indomitable w^ill; and, like her ancestors, she 
was noted for her steadfastness of purpose. Her main ambition 
in life seemed to be to bring pleasure and comfort to those about 
her, regardless of self ; and many are the lasting memories of her 
unselfish kindness still held sacred in the hearts of those with 
whom she came in contact. She was a great sutferer through life, 


though she complained but little. On the morning of February 6, 
1908, she passed away at her home, after only a few days' illness. 
Her last words voiced her concern for the comfort of the watchers 
about her bedside, and her death was painless and peaceful. Her 
friends loved her for her estimable qualities of womanhood; and 
her children cherish the memory of her unselfish motherhood. 

Mrs. Williams was a descendant of a wonderful family. She 
traced her ancestry back to the time of Edward the First; to 
Adam Cary, who was Lord of Castle Cary in Somerset, England. 
In America she traced her ancestry to John Cary, a native of 
Somersetshire, England, who joined the Pljmiouth Colony in 1634. 
His name was among the original proprietors of Duxbury and 
Bridgewater. The Cary Memorials trace the descendants of John 
Cary to the ninth' generation. Sarah W. was born of the sixth 
generation. She was a cousin of the poetesses, Alice and Phoebe 
Cary, also members of the sixth generation in this country. 

Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Williams four children were 
born : Harriet May, who became the wife of J. R. Moody ; Laura, 
who died at the age of four years ; Lulu, the wife of S. H. Callen ; 
and Ella, Mrs. Harry W. Manor. Mrs. Williams was liberal in 
her support of all worthy causes and benevolent undertakings, and 
gave generously to the churches of her community. 

From the pen of Phoebe Cary, under the head of ' ' Entering 
Heaven," we copy the following lines: 

Softly part away the tresses 

From her forehead of white clay. 
And across her snow-white bosom 

Let her pale hands lightly lay: 
Never idle in her lifetime 
Were they folded thus away. 

She hath lived a life of labor. 

She hath done with toil and care ; 

She hath lived a life of sorrow, 
She hath nothing more to bear ; 

And the lips that never murmured. 
Nevermore shall move in prayer. 


The history of many a notable American family is a story of 
successive migrations. This is illustrated by the family of James 
Wilson Crutcher, whose ancestors came from Virginia, where the 
famih' was established in colonial days; removed to the frontiers 


of Kentucky ; aud afterwards entered upon a timber claim in Mis- 
souri. Here both the grandfather and his sons toiled at the heavy 
task of clearing the land and preparing the soil for cultivation. 
The grandfather lived to an advanced age, and in his later years 
was surrounded by comforts, and even luxuries, where once there 
was only a wilderness. Among his children was a son named 
Samuel, who was born in Kentucky, and became an extensive 
farmer in Montgomery County, Mo. Samuel Crutcher married Miss 
Eliza Ann Holliday, a native of Kentucky, and a member of the 
Virginia Hollidays, who came from England. Stephen Holliday 
married Miss Annie Hickman, the daughter of James and Hannah 
(Lewis) Hickman, who were also jjioneer Virginians. In Stephen's 
family was a son, Elliot, who was born in Culpeper County, 
Va., in 1786, and when two years old was taken by his parents to 
Clark County, Ky. In 1810, he joined the Christian Church; and 
he continued in that communion until his death. In 1812, he vol- 
unteered in Captain John Martin's company at Winchester, Ky., 
and actively served against the Indians until the Eiver Raisin de- 
feat, January 18-22, 181.3, when, after having maintained the brav- 
est kind of fight for two days, he was taken prisoner by the sav- 
ages, who subjected him to most cruel treatment and to intense 
suffering by cold. After returning home, in April, 1813, he took 
iip farm pursuits ; and the following year he married Miss Rachel 
Johnson. She was born in Maryland in 1791, of Gernjan descent, 
and died in 1874, having survived her husband five years. Among 
their eleven children, the eldest, born in 1815, was Eliza Ann, who 
was married to Samuel Crutcher. Samuel Crutcher and his wife 
both died in Missouri, the former at the ripe age of seventy-three 
years. In their family there were three sons and a daughter. The 
sons came West. E. W. Crutcher settled in Idaho;. O'Bannon 
Crutcher died in Nevada ; and James W. Crutcher is the suliject 
of our sketch. 

James Wilson Crutcher was the youngest of the family. He 
was born in Montgomery County, Mo., on April 17, 1842, and 
passed his boyhood days uneventfully on the home farm, attending 
school in a log cabin. On April 15, 1863, or two days before at- 
taining his majority, he joined a large party of emigrants with 
mules and horses and set out for the long trip across the plains to 
the Pacific Coast. He traveled by way of Omaha, along the north 
side of the Platte River, across the Rockies, through South Pass 
and on to Salt Lake, along the Reese River to Austin, and then to 
Muddy Springs. He stopped for a time at Carson City, Nev., be- 
fore coming on to California. Soon after reaching Sacramento, he 
met Major Jeff Wilcoxsou, and took charge for him of his private 
toll road in Placer County, a position he held for more than four 


j^ears, collecting the tolls, and keeping the road in repair. In the 
spring of 1868 he went to Sacramento, where he took up work in 
Mr. Wilcoxson's office. About that time he entered and attended the 
Pacific Business College, in San Francisco, after which he re- 
turned to Sacramento and continued his office work for a couple 
of years. He then went to Jacksonville, Ore., in 1870, as book- 
keeper for Major J. T. Glenn ; and when he came back to Califor- 
nia, in 1874, he was employed in the ranch store of Dr. H. J. 
Glenn, at Jacinto, Colusa County. 

While at Jacinto, in June, 1875, Mr. Crutcher was married, on 
the Glenn ranch, to Miss Annie E. Houchins. She was born in 
Monroe County, Mo., and about 1873 accompanied her father, 
Samuel Houchins, and other members of his family, to California, 
where they settled upon a farm at Jacinto. Nine children were 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Crutcher : Clarence W., of Woodland ; Leona, 
the wife of L. L. Wilson, of Madeira County : Sam. E., postmaster 
at Maxwell ; Nellie, the wife of the Rev. Emrich, pastor of the 
AVilliams Christian Church; and James C, Crawford, Harry H., 
Glenn, and Anna Belle, the wife of Otto Miller, of Williams. 

In 1876, in partnership with Alec Manor, Mr. Crutcher opened 
the second store at Williams, and there engaged in general mer- 
cantile pursuits, continuing the same until 1878, when he was 
elected justice of the peace. The store remained in his possession 
until he was chosen by the people, in 1898, on the Democratic 
ticket, as county clerk and recorder. He won the election by a 
majority of eight hundred, and in January of 1899 took the oath 
of office. In 1902 he was again elected, without opposition, to 
serve until January, 1907. During that time he made his home at 
Colusa. For the past six years he has been justice of the peace at 
Williams, where he is now serving his second term. In early days 
Mr. Crutcher was a school trustee, and he is still interested in the 
cause of education. He is an active member of the Chamber of 
Commerce of Williams. Fraternally, he is a charter member of 
Tuscan Lodge, No. 261, of the Masons at Williams, of which he 
was secretary for many years. 


One who played a part in the right control of public atfairs in 
Glenn County, where his memory is still held in reverence, was 
Levi Jefferson McDaniel, born in that part of Colusa County 
which is now Glenn County, August 8, 1858. He attended the pub- 
lic schools, and later too.k a course at the Pacific Methodist College 


at Santa Eosa, after which he settled ou the old home raueh of 
thirteen hnndred acres near Butte City, and engaged in raising 
grain, and stock. His father was Elijah McDaniel, a native of 
Roane County, Tenn., where he was born on July 4, 1820. At the 
age of fourteen Elijah McDaniel went with his father to Illinois, 
where, in January, 184:2, he naarried Sarah Ann Gore. He settled 
in Wayne County, and later removed to Schuyler County. In 1853, 
with his wife and four children, he crossed the plains to California 
in an ox-team train, and in the fall of that year settled in the Sac- 
ramento Valley, where he built a log house at Painter's Landing; 
and here, on October 4, was born a daughter, the first white child 
born in the valley on the east side of the Sacramento River, who 
later became Mrs. Annand. Mrs. McDaniel died on September 
8, 1889. 

In 1881, Levi McDaniel married Hattie Griggs, an estimable 
woman, born in Santa Rosa, who proved her value as a true help- 
mate. By her he had four children: J. E. McDaniel; Mrs. Ethel 
Lane ancl Mrs. Elva Melville, both living at Oakland ; and Frank- 
lin, who died in infancy. Politically, Mr. McDaniel was a Demo- 
crat ; and he was active in the latter years of his life in the coun- 
cils of the party. Fraternally, he was a Mason and a Forester, be- 
ing Past Chief Ranger of the Butte City Lodge. He was an active 
and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
and was a steward of the church at the time of his death, on Jan- 
uary 15, 1905. At his passing the state, and particularly Glenn 
, County, lost a progressive citizen, and a man who commanded the 
respect of all who knew him. After his death, Mrs. McDaniel took 
over the management of the ranch, with the aid of her son, and 
conducted it successfully until the property was sold. 


One of the earliest settlers in the Newville section of Glenn 
Countj', who became a large landowner there, controlling thou- 
sands of acres, and whose influence, always for the better things 
in life, is still perceptible in that favored region of our state, is the 
late Rufus G. Burrows, who was born at La Porte, Ind., April 8, 
1834. His father was Arthur Burrows, a native of Pennsylvania, 
who became an early settler in Indiana, removed to Illinois, later 
went to Missouri, and still later located on the present town site 
of Sidney, in Fremont County, Iowa. In 1845, he crossed the 
plains to Oregon, and settled for a while in what is now Hillsboro, 
Washington County. Then he removed to the Umpqua Valley, 


where his death occurred. His wife, who was formerly Nancy 
Rice, a native of Ohio, married again, becoming the wife of Eufus 

In 1848, Eufus Burrows, with his stepfather and his mother, 
started across the plains for California. William Wambaugh was 
the captain of the train, which consisted of fifty wagons, two 
hundred emigrants, two hundred fifty head of oxen, two hundred 
fifty head of stock cattle, and fifty head of saddle horses. They 
arrived in Sacramento in August, of the same year, and reached 
Sutter's Fort on September 10, 1848. There they leased the old 
Sutter residence, and utilized it for a hotel until the following 
spring, when they removed to Carson Creek, en route to the 
southern mines. On account of the death of a daughter, they 
returned to Sutter's Fort, after which they went to Green Springs, 
Eldorado County, and there engaged in the hotel business. While 
in that vicinity, both Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock passed away. 

Eufus Burrows was the fifth in a family of six children, and 
was educated in the schools of the Middle West, coming to Cali- 
fornia, as has been stated, in 1848. Later, he was sent back East 
to Albany, N. Y., to attend school there; but the death of his 
stepfather led to his being callel back to California. After the 
death of his mother he went to Oregon, where he remained until 
1857, when he settled at Newville. There he resided up to the 
time of his death, which occurred on September 13, 1913. At that 
time, he had some three thousand acres well stocked with cattle, 
sheep and hogs, and devoted to the farming of grain. In the 
later years of his life his two youngest sons became partners with 
him on his ranch. 

In Multnomah County, Ore., on May 24, 1854, Eufus Burrows 
was married to Charlotte T. Hull, a native of Pike County, 111., 
who was born in 1841, and who is now living in Willows, the old 
home ranch at Newville being rented. Her father, Cyrus B. Hull, 
a native of New York, was a carpenter and millwright by trade, 
who crossed the plains to Oregon with her and her mother in 1852, 
and who met with a sad accident on the journey. He was shot by 
his own gun, and although every relief possible was offered him he 
never fully recovered from the wound. For a number of years he 
resided in Oregon, and in 1863 settled at Newville near his daugh- 
ter, where he engaged in sheep-raising. Notwithstanding the acci- 
dent referred to, he lived to be seventy-six years old. He was 
survived by the following children : Mrs. E. G. Burrows, of Wil- 
lows ; Mrs. Electa Murphy, deceased ; Mrs. Mary Hooper, of Hum- 
boldt County; Telemachus Hull, also of Humboldt County; John 
J. Hull, farming in the Newville section; Daniel Hull, of Tehama 
County; Charles Hull, deceased; Mrs. Aurora Marilla Millsaps, 


of Corniug; Mrs. EUeu Metoalf, of Los Angeles; Cyrus B. Hull; 
and Mrs. Emma Scribner, of Washington. The maiden name of 
Mrs. Burrows' mother, who died many years ago, was Nancy 

Several children blessed the family life of Mr. and Mrs. Bur- 
rows. Orlando A., a merchant at Sites, is married and has a son 
and a daughter. Isaac F. and Sylvester are both deceased. Mary 
C. married William Millsaps of Glenn County, and has two sons. 
Elo E. is the wife of John W. Millsaps of Ston^-ford, and is the 
mother of two daughters and a son. Annie is the wife of William 
Markham; she has two daughters and a son, and resides in 
Willows. Ira Ancil, of New\-ille, has two daughters and one son; 
and Aura C, also of Newville, has three sons. Mrs. Burrows has 
fourteen great-grandchildren. Mr. Burrows was a Mason, and 
• was Master of Newville Lodge, No. 205, F. & A. M., for thirteen 
successive years, after which he missed one year, and was then 
elected again and served until his resignation a few years before 
his death. 

Mr. Burrrows had a personality that made him a very inter- 
esting companion, especially when he was induced to talk of the 
historic past and his own relation to it. Having himself expe- 
rienced much, he was able to portray graphically those scenes 
which were typical of the early settler's life, describing vividly the 
famous Sutter's Fort, the lawlessness of the times, and the con- 
stant changes which impressed themselves upon his youthful mind. 
As a pioneer, he began in an undeveloped wilderness, and with the 
passing years added much, through his self-sacrificing efforts, 
to the upbuilding and growth of the county. 

On May 24, 1905, Mr. and Mrs. Burrows celebrated, with 
their children, their golden wedding, and were the recipients of 
congratulations and best wishes from a large circle of friends who 
knew them more or less intimately. In April, 1916, Mrs. Bur- 
rows moved to Willows, where she lives surrounded by every 
comfort. She is the oldest woman settler of Glenn County 
now living. 


One of the largest stock-raisers and grain farmers of Glenn 
County, Amiel Kaiser was born at Ploen, in Holstein, Germany, 
May 12, 1879. His parents, Frederick and Katherina (Pries) 
Kaiser, both were natives of Holstein, Germany. Of their family, 
Emma was the tirst to come to California, where she married John 
Pieper. They now reside in Oregon. The other children are: 


Henry, who died in Glenn Connty; William, a farmer near St. 
John; Sophia, Mrs. Gattsch, of Oakland; Andrew, a farmer near 
Gerniantown ; and Amiel, of this review. Several of the children 
having- migrated to Glenn Connty, Frederick Kaiser, with his wife 
and two youngest sous, Andrew and Amiel, voyaged to the United 
States, locating at Willows, Glenn County, where they engaged in 
farming. The father died in 1896, and six months later the 
mother passed away. 

Amiel Kaiser received some schooling in Germany, and fin- 
ished his education in Willows and Germantown, Cal. His father's 
death left him on his own resources at the early age of sixteen 
years, when he started to earn his own way, going to school in 
winter and doing farm work during the summer months. He 
worked eighteen months for Herman Quint on his ranch east of 
Germantown. His next employment was on the Kelly ranch, 
where he remained four years. At the end of that time he began 
working for his brother, Andrew Kaiser, later becoming foreman 
for him, in charge of his large ranch interests. 

After working for his brother nine years, Mr. Kaiser started 
in to farm for himself. He rented the Western ranch, at St. John, 
Glenn County, and engaged in grain farming, having seven hun- 
dred acres under cultivation ; and one year he put in twelve hun- 
dred acres. He next rented the Peter Garnett ranch for three 
years, and farmed eleven hundred acres, two hundred acres of 
which was pasture land. In all this extensive farming Mr. Kaiser 
proved successful. He is now renting three sections, nineteen 
hundred twenty acres, of the James Talbot ranch, eighteen miles 
southwest of Willows. He has about twelve hundred acres under 
plow, putting in about one half of it to grain each year, besides 
which he raises cattle, hogs and mules. He specializes in the 
Berkshire bxeed of hogs, keeping a registered boar, and raises 
from two to three hundred hogs yearly. He carries one hundred 
head of cattle of his own, and also a larger herd on shares. His 
brand is the well-known Quarter-circle K. 

Mr. Kaiser is in every sense of the word a self-made man, ow- 
ing his success entirely to his own efforts. He is a man of untir- 
ing industry, and is at the same time gifted with far-sightedness 
and business ability. As a citizen, he is progressive and public- 
spirited, always willing to do his share to further the good of the 
many. His well-deserved prosperity is an example of what can be 
accomplished by a young man of sixteen when thrown on his own 
resources, if his efforts are accompanied by industry and natural 
business ability, two qualities which make of obstacles but another 
step in the ladder. 


Mr. Kaiser's marriage took place in Germantown, Septem- 
ber 25, 1907, wlieu lie was miited with Miss Martha Hill, a native 
daughter. She was born in Germantown, Cal., a daughter of Max 
Hill, a native of Holstein, Germany, and one of the early settlers 
of Germantown, Glenn County. He was married here on Septem- 
ber 22, 1877, to Miss Wilhelmina Pries, also a native of Germany. 
They were farmers at Germantown, where they owned and oper- 
ated four hundred acres two and one half miles northeast of the 
village. In 1915 Mr. Hill retired; and the home farm is now be- 
ing operated by his son, Henry. Mr. Hill was twice married ; and 
of the two children by his tirst marriage Henry is the only one 
now living. Of his second marriage there was only one child, 
Martha, now Mrs. Kaiser. Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser have had four 
children born to them: Florence, Ernest, Bernhardt, and Hugh. 
The family are members of the German Lutheran Church, and 
have the respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends in their 


Since an early date the Greenwood family has been identified 
with the development of the agricultural and stock interests of 
the Sacramento Valley. Especial mention is due to Hiram A. 
Greenwood for the part he took in laying the foundation for the 
present-day prosperity of the section about Orland, now within 
the confines of Glenn County, but when he located here, in Colusa 
County. A native of New York State, he was born on February 
7, 1835, of a family long identified with the Atlantic States. He 
received his education in the common schools of his native state, 
remaining a resident there until 1864, when, desiring to explore 
the Western country, he set out with horse teams to cross the 
plains, desert and mountains, on the way to California. Mr. 
Greenwood was chosen captain of the wagon train; and this duty 
made it necessary for his wife to drive nearly all the way to 
California. Many hardships were endured on the journey. In- 
dians were encountered, and several fights ensued. Some of the 
men of the party were killed, and many horses were stolen. The 
eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood was taken ill and died, and 
was buried on the plains. 

On arriving in this state Mr. Greenwood took his family to 
Red Bluff, where he located them, and then began freighting be- 
tween that city and Susanville. Rates were high; and during 
the three years he was so engaged he was able to save enough 
to start in farming. He then leased the Rawson ranch, near Red 


Bluff, and began bis operations as a grain-grower. In 1870 be 
moved to tbe vicinity of St. Jobn, on tbe Sacramento Eiver, 
and later to wbat became known as tbe Greenwood rancb, tbree 
miles soutb of Orland. Witb tbe passing of tbe years be became 
very well-to-do, adding to bis landed interests very materially 
until, at tbe time of his death, he left one of tbe most valuable 
properties in Glenn County. About 1885 he had moved to Stony 
Creek; and there he passed away, on April 27, 1888. Public- 
spirited in all things, Mr. Greenwood promoted all projects for 
tbe public good. He was a liberal supporter of schools, churches, 
and charitable organizations, and aided in the establishment of 
public markets. In polities he was a strong Eepublican, and a 
stanch advocate of good governinent. A man of strong person- 
ality and kindly nature, he made and kept friends; and when 
he died, he was mourned throughout tbe entire county. 

On March 29, 1859, Mr. Greenwood was united in marriage 
witb Harriett M. Harvey, in her native state of Illinois. Mrs. 
Harvey survived her husband until January 25, 1905, at which 
time she died on tbe ranch near Orland. They had four children, 
three daughters and a son. The oldest child died while crossing 
the plains; and a married daughter died on December 22, 1888. 
Eva E. Behrens, of Redwood City, and Willis A., survive. Mr. 
Greenwood was a member of tbe Baptist Church, and held mem- 
bership with the Odd Fellows Lodge at Chico. His success was of 
his own making ; and he was recognized as an important factor in 
the development of tbe best interests of tbe Sacramento Valley. 


A highly respected resident of Glenn County, now living 
retired in his comfortable home at Orland, Willis Drew is well 
deserving of all the honor shown him. He was born on a farm in 
Perry County, Ind., August 30, 1845, a son of Jonathan and 
Elizabeth (Sampley) Drew. The father was born in Vermont 
and was descended from an old New England family, while bis 
wife was a native of Georgia. Jonathan Drew located in Perry 
County and there engaged in farming and raising tobacco. Later 
be moved across tbe river into Kentucky, where be continued in 
tbe same occupation. In 1848 he became a settler, in Jones 
County, Iowa, on tbe then western frontier, where he improved a 
good farm and raised grain and stock until 1862, in which year 
we find him crossing tbe plains to California. On bis arrival 
here he located in Sutter County, and was there engaged in 


raising grain and stock until his family had scattered and he and 
his wife were once more alone. He then made his home with 
his son Willis, imtil his death in 1902, at the age of ninety-two. 
His wife also died at this son's home. 

Third in order of birth in a family of ten children, Willis 
Drew attended the common schools in Iowa, and at the age of 
seventeen came with his parents to this state. He worked in the 
mines for a time, and then went into the timber of the Sierras, 
where, with a brother, he began taking contracts for getting out 
logs. He was engaged in this enterprise for tive summers. Ee- 
turning to Sutter County, he farmed there until 1872, finding 
that a surer way to prosperity. Meanwhile, he began looking 
about for some good land ; and this he found in Colusa County, in 
the vicinity of Elk Creek, now in Glenn County, where he pur- 
chased a half section and began its improvement, raising grain 
and stock with profit. In 1880 he homesteaded one hundred sixty 
acres, seven miles north of Elk Creek. In addition to farming, he 
did a general teaming business ; and for one season he owned an 
interest in the Oriental Sawmill. In 1889 he bought the property 
that became known as the home place, which he improved by 
erecting suitable buildings, and which has ever since been devoted 
to grain and to stock-raising. He retired from active work in 1913. 

In Sutter County, Willis Drew was united in marriage with 
Martha Elizabeth Vanderford, who was born in Michigan, a 
daughter of Napoleon B. and Martha (Silver) Vanderford. Mrs. 
Vanderford was born in Toronto, Canada. Napoleon Vanderford 
was born in Steuben County, N. Y., August 22, 1827, and was 
taken by his parents to Ann Arbor, Mich., in early childhood. He 
received his education in the common schools ; and in 1851 began 
operations as a lumbermau and contractor. In 1858 he came to 
California by way of Panama. Going to Sutter County, he took 
up a quarter section of land, to which he added from time to time 
until he owned four hundred eighty acres. In 1876 he sold out 
and moved to the Elk Creek section of Colusa County. There he 
bought two -thousand acres of land and was engaged in raising 
sheep and cattle until 1903, when, upon the death of his wife, he 
leased the ranch, and later sold it, and made his home with his 
children. He was a stanch Eepublican, and was active in the 
movement to organize Glenn County, serving on the board of 
supervisors for twelve years. Mr. Vanderford was always a con- 
sistent member of the Christian Church. 

Of the marriage of Willis Drew and his wife, seven children 
were born: Laura Elizabeth, who married E. F. Zumwalt; Sarah 
Ellen ; William Walker, a rancher in Modoc County ; Napoleon B., 


a teacher in the Sacramento High School; James Edison, of the 
Elk Creek district; Leland Stanford, principal of the Orland 
grammar school ; and Truman Willis. Mr. Drew is a Republican, 
and a member. of the Christian Church. 


A resident of Colusa County, living nine miles north of Colusa, 
Edward Heathcote, now in the ninety-first year of his life, is 
in point of years the oldest living white settler in the county. He 
was born at Furness, England, sixteen miles from Manchester, on 
March 14, 1827, a son of Joseph and Hannah (Bailey) Heathcote. 
When he was sixteen years of age, in 1843, he came to Waukesha, 
Wis. ; and seven years later, in 1850, he crossed the plains with ox 
teams to California. For about five years he mined for gold at 
Nevada City, Cal. Not meeting with the success he had expected, 
he then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He came to 
Colusa County in 1856, bought some land, and began farming. He 
was successful in this venture, and kept adding to his land until he 
became owner of seven hundred twenty acres, which he controlled 
until 1912. He then sold out, and is now living retired with Mrs. 
Mary G. Jones. 

In the Heathcote family there were twelve children, seven of 
whom grew up. George died in W^isconsin ; Hannah was married 
in Winconsin to James Jones and came to Colusa County, where 
she died, the mother of five children ; Edward is the subject of tbis 
review; Joseph died in Wisconsin; Mrs. Mary Woodard died in 
Iowa ; Mrs. Elizabeth Wright died at Red Bluff, Cal. ; and Samuel 
died in Orland, in 1916. Mr. Heathcote has taken an active inter- 
est in public affairs. He has served on grand juries, and has been 
a member of the board of trustees of Butte Creek school district. 
In polities he has usually aligned himself- with the Republicans. 
He is a strong advocate of temperance. Now in the evening of a 
long and busy life, Mr. Heathcote is still well preserved. He has 
retained his faculties, and is an interesting conversationalist, dis- 
coursing on events of the early days in the state in an entertain- 
ing manner. He has lived a conservative and consistent life, and 
has made a host of friends since be became a pioneer settler of 
Colusa County. 





f \ 





- ' 


Sp /nd^^^^zU^^ 



A life spent in successful private enterprise and faithful 
public service, with nothing to mar its efficiency or cloud its 
record, is an achievement worthy of mention in the biography of 
California pioneers. David Brown has been a resident of Cali- 
fornia since 1869. During the long period of his residence in 
the state, he has watched its development and helped in its 
advancement, with a keen perception of its resources and future 
jDossibilities. Born in Ontario, Canada, on June 24, 1850, he 
came to California when a youth of nineteen. Being entirely 
dependent upon his own efforts, and eager to do any work that 
would teach him the methods used in his new surroundings, he 
worked for some years as a farm hand on ranches in Yolo, Merced 
and Colusa Counties. It is from just such beginnings that many 
of our prominent pioneers have sprung, who have made a name 
and place for themselves in the annals of the state. 

After working for wages for several years, Mr. Brown set- 
tled in Orland, Glenn County, in 1877. In 1876, he and his brother 
had first come to this section ; and at once seeing the possibilities 
it afforded for irrigation, they thought it the place to put a stake 
and build up with the country. Here Mr. Brown built a livery 
stable, which he conducted for twenty-five years and eleven 
months, continuously. For eight years his brother, Thomas 
Brown, was his partner ; but after that time Mr. Brown was sole 
owner of the business. He has met with deserved success in his 
various undertakings, meanwliile finding time for the public posi- 
tions he has held, and taking an active part in all projects for the 
advancement of his section of the state. He is now serving 
his fourth term as supervisor of Glenn County, making fourteen 
consecutive years in office, during which he served for one term 
as chairman of the board. He has proveTd himself a most able 
county official; and his record for unswerving loyalty to the 
county's best interests has gained for him the firm friendship 
and support of his community. He has always been a great 
advocate of good roads ; and the roads in his district are kept in 
the best of condition. He has a thorough knowledg>e of conditions 
throughout this entire section. Progress is his watchword; and 
he gladly does his share in support of all movements for the 
good of his county. He is a member of the Gknu County Farm 
Bureau and a director in the Orland Creamery; he served as a 
director in the Orland LTnit Water Users ' Association ; and in early 
days he was a director in the Lemon Home Ditch Company. 


The marriage of David Brown united him with Alzora 
Harelson ; and they are the parents of seven children : Mabel, wife 
of W. B. O'Hair; Arnold, connected with hospital work in Berke- 
ley, Cal. ; Lena, wife of J. W. Eucker; Zozie, wife of W. E. 
Carroll; and Opal, Ima, and David, Jr. The home ranch, two 
and one half miles northwest of Orland, consists of three hundred 
eighty acres, and is one of the most productive in the county. 
Mr. Brown has seeded eighty acres of it to alfalfa, and the bal^ 
ance is devoted to grain and pasture land. He maintains a dairy 
of forty blooded Jersey cows, and has one hundred twenty-five 
head of cattle besides. With all the varied interests that have 
occupied his attention since he made his residence here, Mr. Brown 
has found time to be an important factor in the development of 
his district; and he is today one of the best-known and best-liked 
men in the county. Fraternally, he is a Mason, a member of 
Orland Lodge, No." 285, F. & A. M. 


A pioneer educator, and for more than ten years a member 
of the county board of education of Glenn County, Louis M. 
Reager has made his influence felt for good in his native county. 
The son of Martin A. Reager, a forty-niner, whose sketch is given 
elsewhere in this history, he was born in Colusa County, December 
21, 1861 ; and practically his entire life has been passed within the 
old county boundary lines. His schooling was obtained in the 
common schools and in Pierce Christian College, at College City, 
from which he was graduated in 1885. He at once secured a 
school and began teaching; and during the years that have inter- 
vened since then he has been following his chosen career. Today 
he is recognized as one of the leading educators of Colusa and 
Glenn Counties. 

Mr. Reager has taught in Orland, where for seven years he 
was principal of the high school, and for two years, of the gram- 
mar school ; and in the Hamilton and Bayliss districts. In 1916- 
1917 he was principal of the Bayliss school. So satisfactory have 
been his services that he was chosen a member of the Glenn 
County board of education. For more than ten years he has 
served in that position, part of the time as president of the 
board. By his service on the board he has aided materially in 
bringing the public school system to its present high state of 


Mr. Eeager lias wisely invested in city and country property. 
He owns a fine dairy ranch of eighty-two acres east of Orland, a 
part of the proi^erty once owned by his father, which was pur- 
chased in 1860. He also owns thirteen acres west of town, and 
has his fine home place of three and one half acres in the city. He 
is a Mason, belonging to Orland Lodge, No.- 265, F. & A. M., of 
which he is a Past Master. 

On November 9, 1887, occurred the marriage of Louis M. 
Reager with Miss Anna Durham. Mr. and Mrs. Reager have two 
children, Orrin D. and Xavie. Xavie is a teacher in the Orland 
grammar school. 


A "booster" for Arbuckle and Colusa County, as well as one 
of the leading business men and the president of the Chamber of 
Commerce of Arbuckle and College City, Mr. Cramer is making 
a name for himself in the Sacramento Valley. He was born near 
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, on January 20, 1861. His 
father, King Cramer, was born aboard a vessel three days before 
it reached New York City while his parents were migrating from 
Germany to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was reared and educated. 
In 1852 he crossed the plains to California ; and there he followed 
mining until 1855, when he returned to Cincinnati via Panama, and 
there married Elizabeth Hildreth, a native of that city. They 
followed farming there until the father's death. The mother 
afterwards came to California, and resides in Arbuckle, aged 
eighty-six years. She had two children, Charles and Douglas, both 
residing in Arbuckle. 

Douglas Cramer was educated in the common schools, and 
was reared on the Ohio farm until he was eighteen years old. 
In 1879 he came to California to begin life on his own responsi- 
bility. He was willing to work at any honest labor. to gain expe- 
rience of Western men and methods; and for three years he 
worked as a rancher in Yolo County. In 1883 he engaged in the 
butcher business at Yolo; and from there he went to Fresno, 
where he continued in the same business in the shop of W. J. 
Williams. After a time spent in Fresno, he returned to Y''olo 
County, and for six years ran a shop of his own in Dunnigan. 
In 1903 he came to Arbuckle and entered the employ of Houchins 
& Mitchell. Four years later he purchased the interest of Mr. 
Mitchell; and since then the firm has carried on business under 
the firm name of Houchins & Cramer. They conduct an up-to-date 
meat market, modern in all its appointments, owning and operat- 


ing their own slaughter house, and draw patronage from a wide 
section of country surrounding Arbuckle. Prompt service and 
courteous treatment of all is the motto of this enterprising firm. 

Mr. Cramer was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth C. 
Bolander, who, with her husband, enjoys the esteem of a wide 
circle of friends. Fraternally, Mr. Cramer was made a Mason in 
Yolo Lodge, No. 81, in the year 1882, but is now a member of 
Meridian Lodge, No. .182, F. & A. M., at Arbuckle, of which he is a 
Past Master. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of 
America. To the later-day development of Arbuckle, there is no 
man who has lent his support more willingly, or with a freer 
hand, than has Mr. Cramer. 


A pioneer who will be long and gratefully remembered for 
his uprightness of character and his rare personal qualities, and 
for the influence of his example in the community in which he 
lived, was Leonard Thompson, now deceased, who was born in 
Ohio, in 1831. He was a son of Samuel Thompson, a Methodist 
minister, who died at the home of his son, in Iowa. When Leonard 
Thompson was only fifteen, he moved from the Buckeye State to 
Henry County, Iowa; and there he was raised on a farm. In a 
few years, with characteristic enterprise, he was tilling the soil 
for himself; nor did he take his hand from the plow until he 
had made his position secure among Iowa farmers. 

In the fall of 1875, he came West, to California ; and arriving 
in Orland, he bought a hundred forty acres of raw land, six miles 
to the southeast of the town. At that time there were very few 
settlers in the neighborhood. It was a difficult task to improve 
the place and make of it a habitable home and a paying invest- 
ment. However, he leveled the land, fenced it in, built a house 
and barns, and planted trees ; and in the end the Thompson ranch 
and ranch house were an attractive sight to all who saw the place. 
The fig trees on the ranch are now among the largest to be found 
anywhere in California. For many years, Mr. Thompson ran the 
ranch, farming to grain; and when he gave up active life, his 
sons carried on the work he had begun. Of late the place has been 
managed by Frank W. Thompson, who lives two miles south of 
Orland. The land is still being devoted to grain-raising. 

Leonard Thompson was twice married. One son by the first 
marriage, Thomas A. Thompson, is the father of one daughter, 
Lucille. The second marriage occurred in 1856, when Mr. Thomp- 


son was united with Miss Hannah Newby, a native of Henry 
County, Ind., born in 1841, who moved to Henry County, Iowa, in 
1852. W. Lawrence Thompson, a son horn of this union, is mar- 
ried and has three sons, Verner, Lester and Ealph. For forty-two 
years Mrs. Leonard Thompson has lived on the old home ranch; 
and she recalls with interest the pioneer days in Cohisa County, 
when all the trading was done in Chico, Butte County, some 
twenty miles from the ranch, and at Jacinto. At that time Orland 
was not on the map. Leonard Thompson was a man of fine 
education. He was fond of books and had a well-stored mind, 
having been for years a wide reader. In keei^ing with his natural 
aptitudes, he early turned his attention to the field of education. 
In every way possible he supported California schools; and for 
years he served as a trustee in the Plaza district. When he died, 
in 1908, California lost one of her most conscientious and efficient 


One of the leading cattle men of Colusa and Glenn Counties, 
who has succeeded despite the many obstacles thrown in his way, 
is Hosea B. Turman, who was Ijorn in Clark County, Ohio, Janu- 
ary 24, 1846, the son of Isaac and Frances (Lowe) Turman, both 
natives of Ohio. With the usual ox team and a drove of cattle, 
his father crossed the plains in 1854, taking six months for the 
journey, and shooting wild game, including the buffalo, for food. 
The family settled near Petaluma, and engaged in stock-raising ; 
and in 1866 the father retired from active business life. 

Hosea Turman 's first independent ranching operations began 
in 1866, when, with Tom Harlan, he leased three hundred acres of 
land of the old Colonel Hagar ranch, four miles south of Colusa, 
paying a hundred fifty dollars a year rental for the entire lot. 
They had many exciting adventures with cattle thieves and horse 
thieves in Colusa County in those days ; and notwithstanding their 
unremitting vigilence, Mr. Turman lost many of his cattle and his 
best horses. When he was able to do so, he drove a band of 
cattle to Grass Valley, in Nevada County, continuing there in 
cattle-raising; and he bought a large lot of land, in 1868, in Bear 
Valley, from which he anticipated much profit. In 1870-1871, 
however, he was farming near Williams, and the drought of that 
season swept away nearly all that he owned. In the spring of 
1872, Mr Turman settled in Ash Valley, Modoc Coimty; but after 
a short time he went to Reno, Nev., for horse trading. The next 


year he bought a lot of horses and mules at a dollar a head at 
Santa Barbara, and took them to Ash Valley ; but again, through 
the unprecedented snows that year, he lost all his stock. 

In this brief recital of the early operations of this pioneer 
stockman, is outlined a series of setbacks such as migiit easily 
have discouraged the average man; but he was bound to succeed, 
and so he kept at it, and his present prosperity was obtained 
largely by hard work and unremitting perseverence. In October, 
1874, he set up on a dairy ranch near Colusa, and for the long 
period of thirty years he was active in dairying. During the latter 
days of his residence there, he started in to buy and sell cattle; 
and since then his efforts as a stockman have been attended with 
marked success. 

In 1900, Mr. Turman came to Willows ; and eight years later 
he formed the Turman-Mitchell Land & Cattle Co., of which he 
is the president. This company controls ten thousand acres of 
grazing land on the hills west of AVillows, where their cattle range 
and are fattened. This company also owns nearly a half interest 
in the Lake County Land & Cattle Co., of Oregon, which possesses 
six thousand cattle. In addition he is the president of the H. B. 
Turman Co., which has another fifteen hundred head ranging and 
grazing, and a ranch of four hundred eighty acres three miles 
northwest of Willows. One hundred eighty acres of this ranch is 
in alfalfa, and the rest is in grain. The company also rents graz- 
ing land west of Willows. As a cue to Mr. Turman 's capacity for 
enterprise, mention may be made of a big deal engineered by him 
when he bought one thousand forty steers in Arizona, on which 
he cleared forty thousand dollars six months later. 

Mr. Turman has been married three times. On the first occa- 
sion he was wedded to Miss Mary Semple, a native of Benicia, 
Cal, the daughter of Dr. Robert Semple. AVith Will S. Green, Dr. 
Semple founded the Alta California, at Benicia, the first news- 
paper printed in this state. He was president of the committee 
which framed the constitution of the state in assembly in Mon- 
terey. Mrs. Turman was one of the first white girls to be born 
in California. Three children of that imion are living, who assist 
their father with his various stock and ranch operations : Joseph 
Benton, Lewis Frank, and Robert Semple. The oldest child of 
the family, Oscar B., is deceased. The second marriage united 
Mr. Turman with Mrs. Susan H. Nye, also a native of California, 
and a daughter of Dr. Lull, founder of the town of Princeton, 
Colusa County. His third wife was Meta Stephens, a daughter 
of Dr. L. P. Tooly, of Willows. Mr. Turman is a charter member 
of Colusa Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., of which he is a Past Grand; and 
he is also a member of the "Clampers," of Willows. 


Incidents related by this pioneer of the early days in this 
section of California are very interesting. He recalls seeing as 
many as iive thousand cattle grazing or lying about on the ground 
near old "Willow Slough," where, in the fall of the year, was 
found the only water nearer than the river. All were sleek and in 
good condition. Another incident happened in 1867, at one of the 
rodeos held one and one half miles east of what is now the site of 
Willows. When rounding up the cattle, the vaqueros drove in a 
herd of twenty-four antelope with the stock. When the band 
passed Mr. Turman he threw a rope and caught one animal, 
which they had for dinner that night. Many other thrilling inci- 
dents of the pioneer life in this section, now fast passing from the 
memory of the present jjopulation, are recounted in the interest- 
ing conversation of this pioneer citizen. 


As a contracting carpenter and a man of affairs, the late 
Samuel J. Lowe was both literally and figuratively one of the 
builders of Willows. He was born in Maryland in 1833. When 
twenty-one years of age he moved to Missouri, and at Paris, in 
Monroe County, followed his trade as a carpenter. Wlien the Civil 
War broke out, he espoused the cause of the Confederacy and en- 
listed for service; and throughout the terrible conflict he fought 
under the Confederate banner. 

In 1885 Mr. Lowe settled in Willows and hung out his sign as 
a contracting carpenter and builder. His tirst work here was done 
on the old Baptist Church. Many of the buildings he erected are 
still standing as monuments to the honesty of his workmanship. 

Samuel J. Lowe was united in marriage with Miss Willie 
Maupin, a native of Virginia; and of their union the following 
children were born: Mrs. M. Hannah, of San Francisco; Henry 
H., of Hamilton City; Samuel, now deceased; Leatha A, and Mrs. 
Sadie Ajax, of Willows; Lemona, of San Francisco; and Clifton 
0., a traveling hardware salesman in San Francisco. Mrs. Lowe 
died in 1894, and Mr. Lowe passed away in 1904. Mr. Lowe was a 
consistent member of the Methodist Church. His passing was felt 
as a distinct loss to the community in which he lived. 

Miss Leatha A. Lowe is the proprietor of the leading milli- 
nery establishment in Willows. Her store was established in 1907, 
and is recognized as the local headquarters for artistic millinery. 
Miss Lowe specializes in the latest designs and styles. She has 
built up a large trade, her patrons coming from all over Glenn 


Couuty. With her sister, Lemona, she is also interested in a mil- 
linery establishment in the exclusive Geary Street district in San 


The records of California show the birth of many men who 
have attained to a prominent i^lace in the history of the various 
counties, besides those of national repute. Of the men who have 
taken hold with a zeal and a determination to perpetuate the deeds 
of the forerunners of our civilization, Nicholas Wilson Hanson is 
a worthy representative. He was born in Lake County, Septem- 
ber 8, 1868, a son of William P. Hanson, a Kentuckian by birth, 
but who was reared in Coles County, 111. William P. Hanson came 
as a forty-niner to this state by way of Panama, accompanied by 
his father, George M. Hanson. They located in Marysville; and 
later William P. went to the mines on- Feather River for a time, 
after which he returned to Marysville and with his father built the 
tirst bridge across the Feather River between Yuba City and 
Marysville, costing some $30,000. It was also one of the first 
bridges built in this part of the state. They ran it as a toll bridge 
for a year, when the flood waters washed it away. Grandfather 
Hanson erected the first brick house in Yuba City, a two-story 
structure, the material for which was shipped around the Horn. 
This building is still standing, and is occupied as a residence. 

The Indians from Lake County, Cal., went to the rancherias 
along the Sacramento River to hunt and fish, sometimes visiting 
Marysville. Their bartering attracted the attention of William 
Hanson, and he found some Indians to act as guides, going with 
them to LTpper Lake, in that county. They traveled l\y way of 
Sulphur Creek, through Grizzly Canyon ; and when going through 
the latter Mr. Hanson killed a large grizzly bear, giving the name 
to the canyon, by which it has ever since been known. He was one 
of the first white men to make the trip through by Sul^^hur Creek. 
After he had explored the country in Lake County, he returned to 
Marysville for his family. Mrs. Hanson traveled all the distance 
on horseback, as no roads were in evidence at that date ; while her 
two small children were carried on the saddles of her husband and 
his father. 

The grandfather, George M. Hanson, was born in Tazewell 
Couuty, Va., March 13, 1799. He was married in Lebanon, Va., in 
1819, to Miss Polly Ellington. They had seven sons and three 
daughters, all of whom crossed the plains except two daughters, 
Sidney "Elizabeth and Jerusha, who married in Illinois and died 

^i^-'^^^g? /5r?^ 




there. One daughter, Elizabeth, came to California. The sons 
were William P., Nathan E., George M., James F., Daniel, Rufus, 
and David M., who resides at Vallejo, the only one now living. In 
1821 the grandfather moved to Kentucky and engaged in mercan- 
tile business. He later emigrated to Clark County, 111., and for 
twenty-five years was in public life in that state, twelve years in 
the house and senate. In 1847 he visited Texas with the idea of 
locating there, but returned home dissatisfied and outfitted for 
Oregon Territory. Before he was ready to start, news of the dis- 
covery of gold in California came aud he again changed his plans. 
He left Coles County in April, 1849, with three ox teams and a 
family carriage drawn by horses. They rendezvoused at Indepen- 
dence, Mo., where they joined a train of thirty-five wagons and 
teams and one hundred i^ersons, among whom were only three 
women and a dozen children. John G. Allender was chosen cap- 
tain to guide the train to -California. They arrived at Yuba City 
in November, 1849. They were destitute, having lost everything 
they had in the mountain fastnesses and the snows of the Sierras. 
Mr. Hanson opened a hotel, and soon built up his fortunes in the 
hotel business and by building a ferry, and later the toll bridge 
mentioned. After it was destroyed he and John C. Fall built an- 
other. He became prominent in politics and was a delegate to the 
convention that nominated John C. Fremont. He was a warm 
friend of Lincoln, and from him received a commission as Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern District of Califor- 
nia. He was a Mason for over fifty years. He died in Lake 
County, August 1, 1879, after a long and useful life as a pioneer 
frontiersman and a builder of our great commonwealth. 

The father, William P. Hanson, took up farming and stock- 
raising as a surer way to prosperity than mining. He began in 
Lake County, and'later took up government land in Sutter County; 
and in 1879 he located in what is now Glenn County, near the set- 
tlement of Willows. Besides his own claim he leased land near by ; 
and here he raised grain and stock until his death in 1889, when 
he was accidentally killed by being run over by a train. At his 
death the community lost one of its most efficient upbuilders. He 
was a member of the Methodist Church. In politics he was a Ee- 
publican. He married Lydia Wilson, a native of Maryland, who 
located in Illinois at an early date, where she and Mr. Hanson 
were married upon his return from California by way of Panama, 
in 1853; and together they came across the plains with ox teams. 
Eight children were born to this pioneer couple, of whom the old- 
est and youngest are deceased. Those living are: Mrs. T. H. 
Newsom, of Glenn; Mrs. Ella Stout, of Sacramento; Mrs. Clara 
Miller, of Hammonton, Yuba County; George M., near Glenn; 


Nicholas W., of this review ; and Mrs. Lydia Huffmaster, of Lees- 
ville. All were born, reared and educated in California. Mrs. 
Lydia Hanson passed away at the home of her son, Nicholas W., 
on November 21, 1910. 

Nicholas W. Hanson was the sixth child in order of birth in 
his parents' family. His schooling -was obtained in the public 
schools of Sutter and Glenn Counties. Meanwhile he worked on 
his father's farm until the death, of the latter; and ever since he 
has been following his chosen vocation in Glenn County. In 1902 he 
came to the section where he now lives, purchased a ranch of three 
hundred thirty acres of the Glenn estate and began making im- 
provements by clearing the land and planting to grain and pro- 
duce, also raising hogs and cattle. His ranch, as seen today, 
shows what labor he has expended in getting it under cultivation 
during the past fifteen years. In the beginning it was covered 
with heavy timber and underbrush. He raises good corn on the 
bottom land ; and produce of every description is grown in abund- 
ance on his property, which is kei)t in a high state of cultivation 
through his close personal supervision of the ranch work. 

In 1897, on December 8, was celebrated the marriage of Nich- 
olas W. Hanson and Miss Bertha A. Hull. She was born in Kan- 
sas, and came to California with her parents in 1889. Both Mr. 
and Mrg. Hanson are recognized as leaders in their social circle. 
They are charitable and hospitable, and have a host of friends, 
who admire them for their many fine qualities of mind and heart. 
In 1916 Mr. Hanson built one of the most substantial and modern 
houses in the county, the contract being executed by J. W. Halter- 
man of Willows, who prepared the plans from ideas given by Mr. 
and Mrs. Hanson. In this home the many friends of this worthy 
couple are entertained in a fitting manner. Mr. Hanson counts 
five generations of the family in this state, beginning with his 
grandfather, George M. Hanson, and coming down to the Stout 
family in Sacramento, who have children married and with fami- 
lies. Like his father, he has made a name and place for himself in 
the county. He is serving as one of the levee trustees of Levee 
District No. 1. In politics he is a Republican. Fraternally, he is 
a member of the Odd Fellows at Willows. 


When Joseph Zumwalt crossed the "Great Divide" in 1892, 
at the age of ninety-two years, another of the prominent upbuild- 
ers of the state passed to his reward, after leaving the imprint of 
his enterprising personality upon the various communities where 


he had lived and labored. The Zumwalt family is of German de- 
scent on the paternal side, one Jacob Zumwalt having immigrated 
from that country with two brothers, George and Adam. The 
former settled in Pennsylvania, and the brothers settled in Vir^ 
ginia. Jacob married Nancy Ann Spurgeon, who was of English 
ancestry. They had a son, also named Jacob, who built the tirst 
hewn log house north of the Missouri River, northwest of 
'Fallon station. 

Joseph Zumwalt was born in Ohio in 1800, and lived there 
amidst pioneer conditions on the then frontier until 1829, when 
he went to Indiana, meeting there with about the same conditions 
as in the place of his birth. In 1833 he moved to Will County, 
111., and settled on a farm. He cleared the place from the timber, 
and engaged in farming among the Indians, who then inhabited a 
considerable part of that section of the country. In Ohio he had 
married Mary Ogle, likewise a native of that state. With her and 
their nine children, he left their home in the late forties, and made 
the long and dangerous trip across the plains to California, behind 
the slow-moving ox teams. They arrived at their destination on 
October 23, 1849, without mishap. Mr. Zumwalt at once located 
his wife and children in Sacramento, and with three of his sons 
went to the mines along the Yuba River, where he met with good 
success for two years. In 1850 he had located his family at what 
was known as Zumwalt Flat, so that they could be near where he 
was mining. 

So successful was he that in 1852 he decided he would go back 
to Illinois, making the journey via Nicaragua. The following year 
he returned to this state with some stock, which he sold in the 
mines, and once more resumed mining himself. Two years later 
he moved to Solano County, and in the vicinity of Silveyville be- 
gan raising stock and grain. Seeing the advantage of having good 
stock, instead of the long, rangy Spanish cattle, Mr. Zumwalt once 
more made a trip back to Illinois and spent one year in gathering 
a band of cattle and sheep, which he drove back to California, to 
his ranch in Solano County. He continued the stock business 
there until 1872, when he came to Colusa County, to that part now 
included in the boundaries of Glenn County. Part of his land is 
now the site of Willows. He erected the first frame house in the 
place. After living here for ten years, he sold out and moved to, 
Anderson, Shasta County, where he passed his last days. His 
wife died in 1886, at the age of eighty-two years. Their children, 
grandchildren and great-grandchildren are numerous in Colusa 
and Glenn Counties, and are among the most highly respected citi- 
zens of the valley. Many of them are occupying positions of 
honor and trust throughout the state. 



The late Samuel Isaac Stormer, of Colusa and Glenn Counties, 
was one of the well-known pioneer citizens of the Sacramento Val- 
ley, having been a resident of the section later embraced in Glenn 
County from 1867 until his death, and much good was accom- 
plished by his indomitable energy and enterprise in laying the 
foundation for our present prosperity. 

Mr. Stormer was born in Morgan County, 111., January 25, 
1831, and was educated and reared to the life of a farmer in that 
state. On March 3, 1853, in Schuyler County, 111., he was married 
to Miss Luvica Jane Cartmell, who was born on September 6, 
1834, in Eush County, that state. After their marriage, Mr. and 
Mrs. Stormer took up their residence in Adams County until the 
spring of 1864, when they outfitted with provisions, and with their 
three children crossed the plains with mule teams, settling in Aus- 
tin, Nev. In 1867 they finished their journey to the Coast, and 
took up their abode in Colusa C-ounty, where Mr. Stormer engaged 
in grain-raising, continuing that occupation for many years, and 
in time acquiring thirteen hundred acres of land. He was a prom- 
inent factor in the Grange movement in Colusa County, and was 
counted a successful farmer. 

After many years as a rancher in Colusa County, Mr. Stor- 
mer moved to the Purkitt ranch of eleven hundred acres which he 
had i^urchased in Glenn County, near Willows, and there farmed 
for a time, finally retiring to a comfortable home in the little city, 
where his last days were sjDent in the enjoyment of a well-earned 
rest. He and his helpmate lived to celebrate their golden wed- 
ding anniversary, which was held at the home of their daughter, 
Mrs. Potts, on March 3, 1903. The children born to this couple, 
and who grew to maturity, are : Martha Jane Potts, John Benton, 
Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Greene, Charlotte Ann (who died aged 
twenty-one), Samuel Palmer, James Winslow, and Haydon Cas- 
sius. The grandchildren are: Mrs. Cora F. "Wickes, Mrs. Maud 
M. Lightner (now deceased), and Miss M. Monreo Potts; G. I. 
Stormer ; James, Norene, and Barbara Stormer ; Mrs. Mattie Belle 
Ames and Floyd A. Greene; and Sylvan I. and W^tiona Stormer. 
The great-grandchildren are: Thelma J. and Elizabeth Wickes, 
Howell and Mavis Lightner, and Lester, Elizabeth, Floyd L., and 
Samuel T. Ames. 

Mr. Stormer was never so happy as when surrounded by 
those he loved ; and his home life was always cheered by the voices 
and presence of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchil- 


dreu. At the time of his death, on March 15, 1909, he was deeply 
mourned ; for he was a man whose whole life had been devoted to 
the welfare of his fellow citizens and the upbuilding of his com- 
munity. Mrs. Stormer lives in Colusa, still enjoying life at the 
age of four score and three years. 


How fortunate it is to be well prepared when the time comes 
to assume the responsibility for the management of important in- 
terests, is shown in the case of James Richard Garnett, now in 
charge of the Glenn County ranch property left by his father, who 
in his time was a man of affairs. James Richard Garnett was 
born near Dixon, Solano County, July 17, 1861. He is the son of 
James St. Clair Garnett, who first saw the light near Hannibal, 
Pike County, Mo., the town immortally associated with Mark 
Twain. In 1853, when the great streams of humanity were flowing 
toward the Pacific, James St. Clair Garnett crossed the plains to 
California, driving a band of cattle, and after a laborious and dan- 
gerous journey located near Dixon, where he took up land and en- 
gaged in farming and stock-raising. At the time of his death, in 
1908, his landholdings amounted to aljout thirty thousand acres, 
which included a fine ranch of fifteen thousand acres, some twelve 
miles southwest of Willows. In young manhood he was married 
to Miss Elizabeth Marksbury, a native of Kentucky ; and when he 
died, he left six children : William H. and J. N. Garnett, who have 
charge of the old home ranch in Solano County; Mrs. H. P. Tate, 
who resides at Vacaville; James Richard, the subject of this 
sketch; Mrs. W. F. Chaney, of San Francisco; and Mrs. W. W. 
Foster, who lives at Vallejo. 

James Richard Garnett pursued his studies in private schools, 
and particularly in a private school in Dixon and at the Oak 
Mound School, in Napa. He then attended the California Baptist 
College at Vacaville, Heald's Business College at San Francisco, 
and the University of the Pacific at San Jose. For two years he 
was on the old home ranch with his father. In 1882, he came to 
Willows and took charge of his father's fifteen thousand acres 
here. In early days wheat and barley were grown, eleven thou- 
sand acres being operated at one time by means of thirteen eight- 
mule teams of the ranch and ten eight-mule teams that were hired, 
which, used to assist in carrying the grain to the warehouse in 
Willows. What these operations meant may be gathered from the 
fact that one vear the vield amounted to sixtv thousand sacks of 


grain. In recent years grain farming lias been given up for sheep- 
raising and cattle-raising; and now Mr. Garnett is the largest 
sheep-raiser in Glenn County. He disposes, on an average, of ten 
thousand sheep a year ; and at one time, counting both sheep and 
lambs, there were twenty-four thousand head on his ranch. At the 
present time, however, the average is ten thousand sheep. He has, 
also, five hundred head of cattle ; and with these he is equally suc- 
cessful. On his ranch, also, may be found an almond orchard of 
ten acres, now eighteen years old, which, under the scientific care 
of its owner, has never failed to produce a good crop.. Ten acres 
are also devoted to raising grapes. 

When Mr. Garnett married, he chose for his bride Miss 
Minnie F. Messenger, a native of Ehode Island, by whom he has 
had six children: James F., who married Bell Branham, by whom 
he has two children ; Gladys B., the wife of Joseph Reidy, and the 
mother of one child ; Rena B. ; John M. ; Eaymer St. Clair, who 
married Pera Simpson, by whom he has three children ; and Mar- 
garet M. Garnett. Mr. Garnett and his family attend and support 
the Baptist Church. In politics Mr. Garnett is in sympathy with 
Democratic principles and policies. As a citizen he is highly es- 
teemed ; and he has always taken an active part in the building up 
and development of the county. 


A pioneer of the later period in California, who brought with 
him to the Coast a record for positive accomplishment in other 
parts of the country, and a ripe and valuable experience such as 
has often contributed to the solution of problems here, is Herman 
Quint, who was born in Cooper County, Mo., December 15, 1844, in 
which state he was reared on a farm. In the fall of 1864, he came 
to Illinois and located near Belleville, where he worked in a coal 
mine. After that he farmed rented land; and still later he was 
employed in the construction of a railroad bridge across the Mis- 
souri River — a work extending through three years. Then he 
went back to farming, wliich he continued i;util the beginning of 
the eighties. 

In August, 1880, Mr. Quint arrived at Willows and took up 
Ms first work on a California farm, working on a threshing ma- 
chine for his brother, Fred Quint. One year later, he rented land 
on the Pratt grant, in Butte County, which he farmed to grain 
for four years. 


When Mr. Quint settled at Jacinto, he bought eight hundred 
eighty acres of the Glenn estate, eight miles northeast of Willowg. 
He developed and improved the property, and in 1912 sold eight 
hundred acres to the Sacramento "S'alley Irrigation Co., of Wil- 
lows, retaining eighty acres for his home, where he now lives. 
Thirty acres of this he planted to alfalfa, and in addition he laid 
out a family orchard. He has a dairy with a herd of fourteen 
Holstein cows, and also raises Berkshire hogs, keeping a thor- 
oughbred boar. 

In 1864 Mr. Quint married, choosing for his bride Miss Cath- 
erine Cash, a native of Missouri, by whom he has had four chil- 
dren : Catherine, Mrs. J. R. Vaughan ; Belle, Mrs. P. 0. Elbe ; Wil- 
liam, living in Zion City, 111. ; and Henry, living in Princeton. Mr. 
and Mrs. Quint have fifteen grandchildren. Mr. Quint is an Odd 
Fellow, a member of the Willows Lodge. 


Mayberry Davis has been a i)ioneer of California since 1855. 
That year he came to the state by way of Panama, from his home 
in Clark County, 111., where he was born on November 18, 1839. 
Since his arrival here, at sixteen years of age, he has been closely 
identified with the development of the Sacramento Valley, and 
especially of Butte, Colusa, and Glenn Counties. In the early 
days, until the legislature established the boundary lines for each 
county, there were no distinguishing features between Butte and 
Colusa Counties, as far as the east side of the river section was 
concerned, and the poll tax collector would get over the line into 
Colusa and gather in the tax from her citizens. Mr. Davis worked 
for wages on ranches in the first two counties named. In 1859 he 
felt encouraged to strike out for himself, and rented land near 
Butte City, devoting his time to the raising of grain, in which he 
met with success. In 1861, Mr. Davis took up a government claim 
near Butte City, proved up on it, and for some time farmed the 
land. On February 26, 1866, he bought the present home ranch of 
one hundred sixty acres, then raw and uncultivated ground. He 
greatly improved the place,, erecting buildings, fencing the land, 
and bringing it under cultivation; and here he carried on his 
ranching activities until a few years ago, when he retired to pri- 
vate life to enjoy the remaining years of his life in comfort 
and plenty. 

In March, 1861, Mayberry Davis was married to Mary Jane 
Lycan, also a native of Illinois, and a playmate of his boyhood 


days. Of this union one daiigbter was born, Carrie Alice, who 
died at the age of twenty -five years. As a wheat and barley 
grower, and cattle and hog raiser, Mr. Davis had no superior in 
the county. A man of sterling qualities, he is beloved by all, and 
is generous to a fault. Although not a politician, he has been 
sought after to run for office ; but he has preferred to follow the 
even tenor of his way. Once he was prevailed upon to act as dep- 
uty assessor, which he did with satisfaction to all concerned. Mr. 
Davis helped to build all the churches, school buildings, and roads 
in his precinct. While he did not favor county division at the time 
it was being agitated, he very soon came to the conclusion that it 
was the very best thing for the counties. With Mrs. Davis, he at- 
tends the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and they enjoy the 
confidence and esteem of all who know them. 


Interesting and instructive is the history of such a pioneer 
family as that of George E. St. Louis. He was born in Yolo 
County, March 4, 1862, a son of Colbert St. Louis, an account of 
whose life appears in another part of this work. When George 
St. Louis was only thirteen years old, he came to Colusa County, 
where he worked on the ranch of his brother, A. St. Louis, near 
Norman. There he remained until he was twenty-one, after which 
he farmed for two years on rented land near Colusa Junction. He 
next leased land near Norman, and this he farmed to grain. After 
that, he rented land near Willows, which he operated for three 
years. He then returned to Norman, where he farmed a few 
years, and then rented the Frank Thomas place. For ten years 
he was here engaged in raising grain, getting excellent results. 
In 1900, with his brother, he leased five thousand acres on the 
grant, which they farmed to grain. He also bought his present 
place of thirty acres on the river in the Glenn district, cleared 
the land of brush and trees, fenced in the acreage, and built for 
himself a home and barns. He set out an orchard containing a 
thousand trees in all, including four hundred French prune trees, 
two hundred peach trees, and orange and lemon trees. This place 
has proved to be some of the richest land in the Sacramento Val- 
ley. Such is the quality of his land that, with the use of water, 
he raises two crops of some products each. year. He had a crop 
of ball barley on two acres, which aggregated forty-one sacks in 
all, which he sold for three cents a pound. On a portion of the 
ranch he raises milo maize and corn, and ten acres has produced 

J^ ^'-^^^>-^^KL< 


as much as fifty-oue and a half sacks to the acre. His peaches are 
the finest raised in the county, and he took prizes for the best ex- 
hibits in that class at the recent San Francisco Exposition. He 
also has fine late watermelons. 

On January 1, 1884, George E. St. Louis and Sarah L. Bran- 
ham were united in marriage. They are the parents of three chil- 
dren: Eaymond, Grace Margaret, and Bennett Burton. Mr. St. 
Louis was school trustee of Jacinto district one term, while living 
on the Thomas place. Both he and his wife belong to the Baptist 
Church of Glenn. 


A very successful agriculturist of the pioneer sort, whose fam- 
ily has paid a price in privation and sacrifice which should always 
entitle them to the respect and good-will of their fellow-Ameri- 
cans, is Joel Francis Newland, who was born in Crawford County, 
111., September 9, 18.38. On the pat